Investigative TV show Panorama has being accused by one of the UK’s largest veterinary partnerships of trying to “smear vets” in a undercover investigation to be aired this week, while a client of the group has accused programme makers of doing a “hatchet job”.

Investigative TV show Panorama has being accused by one of the UK’s largest veterinary partnerships of trying to “smear vets” in a undercover investigation to be aired this week, while a client of the group has accused programme makers of doing a “hatchet job”.

The programme, It shouldn’t happen at a vets’, is due to be broadcast by BBC One on Thursday July 22, and has been promoted with the blurb: “Filming undercover in one of Britain’s largest veterinary chains, Panorama reveals evidence of questionable bills, animals poorly treated, and an unrepentant vet struck off for dishonesty.”

A Medivet client, who wishes to remain anonymous, speaks of her experience with PanoramaVeterinary surgeon Adi Nell, a partner in Medivet (the veterinary group believed to be featured in Thursday night’s programme), claimed: “We are being subjected to trial by television. Secret filming has taken place, and when we asked for details of any allegations and to see the footage, our request was refused. This lack of transparency makes us suspect that Panorama is distorting the facts – an approach which is at the very least unprofessional on their part.”

Medivet claims to have first become aware of the programme in December 2009, when a number of clients complained that Panorama had contacted them, in some cases feeling that researchers were “harassing them” to get negative comments on film.

One client interviewed by Panorama was so concerned about the programme makers’ behaviour that she wrote to Medivet, commenting on her experiences during filming. She wrote: “In my view Panorama were divisive in the way they handled the matter and their objective was to do a ‘hatchet job’ on Medivet, which I told them at the time.”

The Medivet client, who does not currently wish to reveal her name, also supplied the vet group with a filmed interview complaining about Panorama’s conduct (see below).

 

Both parts of this video interview can be found at the Medivet website and on YouTube. Her written comments can also be viewed at www.medivet.co.uk

In conclusion, Mr Nell said: “We carry out more than 100,000 procedures per year, with a further 500,000 consultations in our practices. The BBC has chosen to disregard the vast majority of our clients who are completely satisfied with the service we have been providing them for many years.”

“It is a shame that Panorama appears to be trying to undermine pet-owners’ confidence in the veterinary profession so deliberately and cynically in order to make sensationalist TV.”

 

  • It shouldn’t happen at a vets’ airs at 9pm, Thursday July 22 on BBC One
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