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Outrage over scenes of day-old calves being shot

full story and comments: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2152402/Viewers-outrage-harrowing-scenes-day-old-calves-shot.html

Viewers' outrage over harrowing scenes of day-old calves being lined up and shot DEAD just because they're male

-- Three Jersey calves were filmed being killed on the Channel 4 programme featuring farmer Jimmy Doherty

-- Nearly 60 people complained about the graphic scenes aired at 9.30pm on Tuesday

By Paul Revoir

31 May 2012

Harrowing scenes of newly-born dairy calves being lined up and shot dead simply because they are male have left television viewers sickened.

The images of three Jersey calves being killed were filmed to highlight the grim reality of the dairy industry.

The Channel 4 programme, featuring farmer Jimmy Doherty, was explaining how more than 90,000 male dairy calves are shot at birth every year because there is no market for them.

But graphic scenes of a 'knacker man' pointing his gun to the head of the calves and shooting them in their brains was too gruesome for many.

Alarming: Scenes on the programme proved too much for some viewers and the channel received 58 complaints

Shocking: Graphic scenes of a 'knacker man' pointing his gun to the head of the calves and shooting them in their brains was too gruesome for some

Last night Channel 4 said it had received 58 complaints about the first episode of Jimmy and the Giant Supermarket, while the media regulator Ofcom had received more than ten. Viewers described the footage as 'sick', 'horrific' and one of the most upsetting things they had seen on TV.

More...

-- RIGHTMINDS: Male dairy calves are killed, but why the surprise? People have no right to complain if they don't inform themselves about food, says CLIVE ASLET

Channel 4 showed the slaughterman creeping up beside the calves, who were about a day old or younger, before pulling his trigger. One of the animals was seen collapsing, then the camera cut away to the face of the presenter as the other two were killed.

They were then taken away to be rendered down to tallow to fuel a Belgian power station. Mr Doherty was later seen planning to make his own range of meatballs in an attempt to tackle the 'huge' problem in the dairy industry of unwanted male calves.

'Jimmy and the Giant Supermarket' showed a dairy farmer slaughtering three young male calves at 9.30pm on Tuesday night

'Jimmy and the Giant Supermarket' showed a dairy farmer slaughtering three young male calves at 9.30pm on Tuesday night

The programme, featuring farmer Jimmy Doherty, was explaining how more than 90,000 male dairy calves are shot at birth every year because there is no market for them

The programme, featuring farmer Jimmy Doherty, was explaining how more than 90,000 male dairy calves are shot at birth every year because there is no market for them

The TV farmer suggested slaughtered animals could instead be raised for veal.

He said British rose veal was 'high welfare' but because of previous cruelty concerns around this kind of meat, male calves were still viewed as a 'waste product'.

The scenes, which aired at around 9.30pm on Tuesday, shocked many animal lovers.

One tweeted: �Harrowing scenes of male calves being euthanised on Jimmy and the Giant Supermarket.� Another said: �Had to turn that Jimmy programme over, they were shooting male calves who were only a day old! Beautiful creatures, so sad! Feel sick.� A third added: �One of the most upsetting things I�ve seen in ages. Just awful.� Others described the scenes as �pretty horrific� as another said the calves �looked like Bambi�.

Support: Animal charities backed the decision to show the scenes. The RSPCA said it was important to raise awareness about how food and drink is produced

Support: Animal charities backed the decision to show the scenes. The RSPCA said it was important to raise awareness about how food and drink is produced

Upset: Many distressed viewers took to Twitter to express their feelings. One described the scenes as 'sick'

Upset: Many distressed viewers took to Twitter to express their feelings. One described the scenes as 'sick'

But animal charities backed the decision to show the scenes. The RSPCA said it was important to raise awareness about how food and drink is produced.

A Channel 4 spokesman said: �We feel it is important to show the reality of this practice to offer viewers a rounded perspective of the issues the programme touches on.

�The programme went out after the watershed, was preceded by a warning and the animals were killed humanely by an expert.�

VIDEO: Warning distressing content. The clip was aired on Jimmy and the Giant Supermarket, Channel 4

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