Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Slaughterhouse visits should be on school curriculum – Countryfile’s Tom Heap

Countryfile presenter Tom Heap (centre) suggests schools should visit abattoirs (Joe Giddens/PA)
Countryfile presenter Tom Heap (centre) suggests schools should visit abattoirs (Joe Giddens/PA)

Countryfile presenter Tom Heap has suggested school children should be made to visit abattoirs in order to improve their understanding of where their food comes from.

Heap, 52, has called for greater transparency of food production practices to increase awareness of animal welfare.

He also claimed “ferocious tribalism” from environmentalist campaign groups on social  media was contributing to unjustified suspicion of farming methods in the UK.

Tom Heap and his colleagues at BBC Countryfile Live
Tom Heap (bottom right) called for farming practices to be more open (Joe Giddens/PA)

Heap even proposed that each stage of food production could be filmed on webcam.

Writing in Radio Times Magazine, he said: “I honestly believe that slaughterhouses, intensive chicken barns or crowded pig pens should be open to the public eye. Schools should be encouraged to visit as part of the curriculum.

“The public cares about the welfare of the animal and the health of the environment behind the food on their plate.

“Much of the farming industry is nervous about letting the cameras in. I’m not saying they have something to hide, but they seem to believe the consumer would rather not know.

“For me, secrecy breeds malpractice inside and, frequently unjustified, suspicion on the outside. It’s very easy for campaign groups to fill in the void with their own version of how animals are treated.”

The presenter said Countryfile should not be afraid to cover the issue in the programme, despite its family audience and early Sunday evening timeslot.

Heap defended the BBC rural affairs series, which received complaints from viewers in April for a report he filmed about animal activism.

Radio Times reveals readers' favourite UK crime drama TV series
Tom Heap made hisremarks in a column for Radio Times magazine (Radio Times)

The section included graphic footage obtained by activists of farm animals in cramped conditions which was broadcast before the 9pm watershed.

Heap said: “While taking care not to offend gratuitously, Countryfile – like the countryside – is not a ‘safe space’ and we shouldn’t hide or gloss any uncomfortable truths.”

The full version of Heap’s column can be read in this week’s edition of Radio Times magazine.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]