Animal rights campaigners have slammed a controversial &£4.6m ad campaign by the Meat and Livestock Commission(MLC), which claims conditions on UK pig farms are among the best in the world.
The campaign, launched this week by Agriculture minister of state Joyce Quin, is designed to drive home the welfare message behind the British Meat Quality Standard Mark for pig meat.
In the first of a series of press ads, by BMP DDB, the MLC claims pregnant sows are no longer tethered in stalls or fed on a diet of offal and bone.
It adds: “By buying pork, bacon or ham carrying the British Quality Standard Mark, you can be sure you are supporting good living conditions and vegetable-based food.”
But animal rights campaigners claim the ad, which is jointly funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and the British Pig Executive, is misleading.
A spokesman for Compassion in World Farming, which successfully campaigned for the end of tethering in the UK, says: “Conditions on the average UK pig farm still leave a lot to be desired and this campaign gives only half the picture.”
Carla Lane, of Protesters’ Animal Information Network, which monitors conditions on UK pig farms, says: “Just because the practice of tethering pigs has ended does not mean animals are being kept in better conditions.”