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Australia Day lamb ad creators demand animal rights group remove parody clip

Fri 15 Jan 2016 by Elle Hunt (The Guardian)

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

An animal rights organisation has defended using a clip from Meat & Livestock Australia's controversial Australia Day lamb advertisement in its own video, which shows graphic footage of a slaughterhouse.

MLA has demanded the not-for-profit organisation Aussie Farms take down its parody, which highlights sheep being slaughtered without being properly stunned.

The footage was taken at the Gathercoles slaughterhouse in Wangaratta, Victoria, in mid-2014 by secret cameras.

Aussie Farms posted the video, which opens with seven seconds of footage of the television personality Lee Lin Chin from MLA's "Operation Boomerang" ad, on its Facebook page on Tuesday.

It was also posted to the organisation's Vimeo Pro account, under the headline "Hilarious behind the scenes clip from the new Aus Day Lamb ad".

The Aussie Farms executive director, Chris Delforce, said MLA had issued it with a take-down notice on Thursday night, claiming the use of the ad was in breach of copyright.

He said on Facebook that the threat of legal action showed "MLA are clearly embarrassed by this video", which had been viewed more than 15,000 times in three days.

Delforce defended the use of the footage as "squarely within the definition of fair use", and has launched a fundraising campaign to boost the video's reach before Australia Day.

"They've responded to criticism of their ad's racial insensitivity and violence by saying people just need to get a sense of humour – but now with more and more seeing what eating lamb really means, I guess their own sense of humour's expired," he said.

Referring to a scene in the MLA ad in which a vegan's flat is torched, Delforce said: "If their ad is anything to go by, I can probably expect they'll be coming to burn my house down now."