Ramsay's F Word cleared over puffin cruelty complaints

LONDON - Channel 4 and Gordon Ramsay have escaped action from Ofcom after 42 people complained about an episode of 'The F Word' that showed puffin hunting and people eating the birds' hearts.

In the July 29 edition of Ramsay's magazine-style cookery programme he was shown hunting puffins in Iceland. People complained that the bird-killing was cruel and eating of their hearts offensive.

Ofcom considered the programme with regard to Rule 2.3 of the Broadcasting Code which requires that "in applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context".

Ofcom took into consideration the concerns of viewers but sided with Channel 4 in judging that a verbal warning about the killing and gutting of birds was broadcast before the section of the programme was shown, and viewers should have been prepared for the extent of the regular strand in which Gordon Ramsay travels the world looking for new or unusual food ingredients.

Ofcom also acknowledged that in this country some members of the public may consider the capture of puffins for human consumption unacceptable, however viewers were informed that in Iceland puffin's are not a protected species and comprise a popular part of the national diet.

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