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MLA threaten animal rights group with legal action

Fri 15 Jan 2016 by (Sunshine Coast Daily)

This article relates to the following facility: Gathercole's Wangaratta Abattoir (Aussie Abattoirs)

AFTER days of robust campaigning against Meat and Livestock Australia's Australia Day advertisement, animal activists say they are being threatened with legal action.

MLA's "operation Boomerang" ad, in which lambassador Sam Kekovich sets fire to a vegan's home, was quickly re-edited by animal rights group Aussie Farms on Tuesday morning to show a "behind the scenes" reality of the meat industry. 

The Aussie Farms video features seven seconds of the original ad followed by recent footage from inside the Gathercoles slaughterhouse in Wangaratta, Victoria, where young sheep are seen being killed without adequate stunning.

Newscorp reports that as of 3.30pm today more than 600 complaints have been lodged with the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB).

Mr Kekovich told Channel 7's Sunrise this morning that vegan groups were just trying to get a bit of free publicity.

"It's always been underpinned by a bit of reverent satire and tongue in cheek," said Mr Kekovich.

"There's no intent and no malice."

But it seems the fun and games have stopped for MLA who have threatened legal action if the Aussie Farms video is not swiftly removed from the internet.

Executive Director of Aussie Farms, Chris Delforce said instances were young sheep are killed without adequate stunning is common in Australian slaughterhouses as workers try to keep up with demand.

"Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) are clearly embarrassed by this video, which has been seen by over 15,000 people in just 3 days.

"They're demanding I take it offline immediately, citing copyright infringement, but of course it falls squarely within the definition of Fair Use."

Mr Delforce says he won't be taking the video down and instead intends to boost the video's reach on social media in the lead up to Australia Day.

"If their ad is anything to go by, I can probably expect they'll be coming to burn my house down now."