C4 gypsy film prompts complaints

Gypsy Blood The film followed gypsy and traveller families and the traditions of bare-knuckle fighting being passed down to their sons

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A Channel 4 documentary about bare-knuckle fighting in the traveller community has prompted complaints about animal cruelty and child abuse.

Ofcom received 289 complaints about Gypsy Blood, which aired last week. C4 also received a number of complaints.

A spokesman for the TV watchdog said the complaints were being assessed.

A C4 statement said scenes that showed cock-fighting and dogs attacking deer were included to "accurately reflect the experiences of the film-maker".

Directed by Leo Maguire, Gypsy Blood - part of the True Stories series - was seen by more than 2m viewers.

'Justified'

A Channel 4 spokeswoman said: "To accurately reflect the experiences of the film-maker who spent years documenting the culture of two gypsy families, including hunting and fighting, some scenes were included that viewers may have found difficult to watch but were justified in context."

"The programme was preceded by on air warnings and appropriately scheduled."

Animal welfare charity, the RSPCA, said they would also be making an official complaint.

"The RSPCA has now begun an investigation into activities shown in the programme," a statement said.

"We would urge anyone who shares our concern at the programme's content to also contact Channel 4 and Ofcom to register their disapproval."

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