Animal Aid ad claiming abattoir cruelty is banned

A newspaper advert by animal rights activists Animal Aid has been banned by watchdog Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), despite two out of the four complaints being upheld.

An Animal Aid ad featured in The Daily Mail included a photograph labelled 'Undercover Video', of a man as he appeared to stamp on a pig while holding an electric prod. The ad stated 'Act Now To Stop This Brutality!'

The ad went on: "British law demands that animals be humanely killed – what we saw showed that slaughterhouses routinely ignore the law and brutalise animals. And they get away with it, because there is no effective monitoring system.

"We need CCTV in every abattoir to prevent this terror. The RSPCA and even the government’s own Food Standards Agency (FSA) support our demand, but there is much work needed to make the FSA’s verbal commitment a reality . . ."

The ASA received one complaint for the Daily Mail ad challenging whether the claim "slaughterhouses routinely ignore the law and brutalise animals" was misleading, challenging the claim "there is no effective monitoring system", disputing the claim "The RSPCA and even the government’s own Food Standards Agency (FSA) support our demand" and claiming the ad misleadingly implied that ewes were routinely and knowingly slaughtered whilst lambs were suckling.

Complaints were upheld over the claims that slaughterhouses routinely ignored the law and that there was no effective monitoring system, but Animal Aid was cleared over its claims that the RSPCA and the FSA backed its call for CCTV, and that "ewes were routinely and knowingly slaughtered whilst lambs were suckling".

The ASA added that readers would understand that the ewe claim was part of a narrative of individual experiences Animal Aid believed it had uncovered as a result of its undercover filming and considered that readers were unlikely to infer from the phrasing of the claim that ewes were slaughtered in such circumstances intentionally and on a routine basis.

Animal Aid has branded the ASA’s decision as "irrational and immoral".

Director Andrew Tyler said: "The Advertising Standards Authority, by taking the comfortable route of endorsing the status quo, has struck a ringing blow on behalf of animal cruelty. Its adjudication is irrational and immoral. Animal Aid’s slaughterhouse campaign will continue with more determination than ever."

>>CCTV debate: Head to Head

>>CCTV: genuine welfare benefits by Andrew Tyler

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