Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver cleared over scenes of animal slaughter

LONDON - Ofcom has backed Channel 4's decision to show scenes of animals being slaughtered in programmes hosted by two of the channel's celebrity chefs: Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver.

The broadcast regulator had received 27 complaints about an episode of 'The F Word', where turkeys named after celebrity chefs including Delia Smith and Gary Rhodes were slaughtered for Christmas. Ramsay said that he was undertaking the project because he wanted his children to know where food came from.

Ofcom also received 30 complaints for a scene in 'Jamie's Great Escape', where Oliver slaughtered a lamb as part of a family feast being hosted by an Italian farmer.

In both instances, viewers who complained said that the scenes were not suitable for pre-watershed viewing, and in the scene where Oliver was shown killing the lamb, some viewers said it was illegal in the UK to do so without the animal first being stunned.

Ofcom rejected the complaints, saying that the programmes had treated the matter "responsibly".

"The clear intention from the outset was to explain both to the viewer and Gordon Ramsay's family the process which brings turkey meat to people's tables on Christmas Day," Ofcom said in its ruling on 'The F Word'. It also noted that along with the complaints, 18 viewers also wrote in support of the item.

In the case of 'Jamie's Great Escape', Ofcom said there were no graphic distressing scenes and the programme sought to reflect a tradition that has been going on throughout the world, and in that particular part of Italy, for thousands of years.

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