BRITAIN'S farm unions have blasted the BBC for failing to explain the 'vast differences' between American meat production and UK farming.

Commenting on the BBC’s documentary 'Meat: a threat to our planet?', a joint statement by NFU Scotland, the English NFU, NFU Cymru and the Ulster Farmers Union accused the Corporation of a 'massive oversight' that had left people with the impression that all meat is produced in the same way.

“We know the public want to eat sustainably and they can do this by investing in the UK livestock sector, which is already producing some of the most climate-friendly beef and lamb in the world and has an ambition to do even more," said the joint statement.

"Beef production in the UK is already 2.5 times more efficient than the global average and four times more efficient than places which are deforesting land. Simply showing the environmental impact of beef production in North and South America does nothing to help people make informed choices about food which can be grown and reared in ways that offer benefits for the environment.

“For example, with the UK’s climate, landscape and grass-based systems we have the means, and the ambition, to provide quality, nutritious meat in ways that not only protect the environment but help mitigate the world’s impact on the climate," said the unions.

“The documentary did, however, demonstrate the concerns UK farming has about future trade, and what we could expect to see on our supermarket shelves if the government were to allow food into the country which has been produced in ways that would be illegal here," they added, in reference to the expectation that Brexit will see the UK opened up to new transatlantic trade deals.

“If we are to maintain our values of environmental protection and animal welfare which are at the core of UK farming – and we know the public want to uphold – future trade deals must ensure all imports meet the standard required of UK farmers.”