NPA submits complaint to Ofcom over 'How to Steal Pigs'

The farm group believes Channel 4 had acted 'irresponsibly' in its decision to broadcast the programme
The farm group believes Channel 4 had acted 'irresponsibly' in its decision to broadcast the programme

The National Pig Association has submitted a formal complaint to Ofcom regarding the Channel 4 programme 'How to Steal Pigs and Influence People'.

The group said that because of the programme, Channel 4 could be considered complicit in the theft of pigs.

The NPA found it 'astonishing' that it showed 23-year-old 'pignapper' Wesley Omar stealing five pigs on separate occasions.

The complaint letter says: “Wesley already has a criminal conviction for theft of a pig from a previous incursion which was reported in the programme, so the production company were clearly aware of his record.

“NPA believes that Channel 4 has acted incredibly irresponsibly in this instance and should therefore be held accountable in some way.

“At the very least, they should furnish the police with information concerning any criminal activity gathered during the course of the programme production.”

The NPA goes on to say that the programme - particularly the title and the promotion before the broadcast - 'explicitly glamorises illegal activity'.

“Therefore, we would be grateful if Ofcom would consider whether it has breached Rule 3.1 of the Broadcasting Code (material likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder must not be included in television or radio services or BBC ODPS).”

The letter also highlighted that many farmers and their staff live on farm, with their family, and it is their safety, privacy and mental health and wellbeing that is violated by ‘direct activism’.

Channel 4 and Ofcom have received a number of complaints since the programme aired on January 14.

Mitsubishi Motors, one of Channel 4's sponsors, did not associate itself with the show following pressure from the NPA.