FUW members were angered by a full page People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) advert that appeared in the Daily Post on 24th March 2021, calling on members of the public to become whistleblowers and submit photos, videos or written evidence of animal welfare violations on dairy farms such as split hooves, inability to stand up, untreated lameness, sores possibly caused by a lack of bedding, untreated mastitis, underweight claves, faeces coating cows bodies and mistreatment during artificial insemination to name just a few.
In response to the advert, the FUW contacted the editorial team at the Daily Post, stressing that publishing an advert that encourages the public to trespass on farmland is not just stressful to the animals, but is also dangerous for the person approaching livestock - especially as many cows will be with calves at this time of year. In our correspondence we stressed that as this advert coincided with the relaxation of Covid travel restrictions and the Easter school holidays, further increasing concerns that members of the general public might venture into situations that are dangerous to them in order to try and comply with PETA’s inflammatory request.
In a letter to the editorial, FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “It is entirely possible that individuals taking action as a result of this advert will misunderstand the situation and such misunderstandings could easily damage the reputation of the industry if the general public decide to share out of context videos and photos based on their partial understanding of what constitutes proper care for farm animals.
“By publishing such an advert you are directly aiding a movement that, at its core, aims to damage the agricultural industry in any way possible. Whilst we understand the needs of the paper to generate income through advertising, publishing this advert is seen as a betrayal of the farming industry by our members who have so far held the Daily Post in high regard for its coverage of agriculture and farming issues in Wales.”
The FUW requested a full editorial article to be published before the Easter bank holiday weekend to address the issue of trespassing on farmland and to give the industry the opportunity to set the record straight on animal welfare issues, and this was published on Thursday 1 April.
The FUW has welcomed the Daily Post’s acceptance of the concerns it raised.
Further details and the full Daily Post article can be found here.