"Pork not porkies"?
The Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint against a Red Tractor ‘Pork’ advertisement, which claimed ‘high welfare’status for Britain’s pig production.
The campaign to win public sympathy for Britain’s pig producers received something of a set back recently, when the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld complaints made against one of their advertisements from a BPEX campaign ran last year - 'Pork not Porkies'. The ASA are the official UK body set up to ensure that all advertising is "legal, decent, honest and truthful" and ensure that the various advertising industry 'Codes of Practice' are observed.
The complaint was brought by Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), and a further 206 complaints from the 'general public'. The complaint concerned the statement 'Red Tractor Pork is High Welfare Pork'. The ASA ruling suggested that production systems using 'contentious' practices such farrowing crates, tail docking, tooth clipping and fully slatted flooring were not consistent with a 'high welfare' claim. This opinion broadly corresponded to the CIWF complaint.
The essence of the BPEX defence was that the claim 'high welfare' was intended to compare British pork standards with 'EU pork'. The ASA ruling was covered extensively in the national and trade media :
Guardian Independent Grocer Farmers Guardian
While CIWF and the other animal rights groups are happy to heap praise on outdoor and extensive pig production systems, they still have many aspects of indoor or intensive pig production firmly in their lobbying sights, as evidenced by their support of RAW (‘The true cost of factory farming’).
The debate regarding the development of larger but more sustainable farming systems was recently aired on ITV Tonight on 24th August (available to UK viewers on ITV Player until 20th September).