Domestic Lamb

Support growing for petition against MLA’s Mardi Gras lamb promotion

Terry Sim February 23, 2017

MEAT & Livestock Australia’s ‘We Love Our Lamb’ brand sponsorship with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is under attack from members of the LGBTQ community just days after it was launched.

Author and journalist, Katrina Fox, with food law and regulation PhD candidate Janine Curll have initiated a petition to urge Mardi Gras chief executive officer Terese Casu to drop the sponsorship deal.

The petition was launched on Monday and has been signed by more than 2500 signatories.

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In an online statement the women have said they are horrified at the SGLMG’s new sponsorship deal with Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA)’s ‘We Love Our Lamb’ brand.

“We believe SGLMG’s involvement with MLA goes against the progressive social values Mardi Gras espouses.

“MLA is a powerful lobby group that works in many forums to ensure the meat industry is minimally or relatively unregulated with respect to the diverse range of animal welfare concerns in industrialised food systems,” they said.

“Over the past 5 to 10 years, the issue of animal welfare and animal rights has solidified as the campaign of the 21st century for equality and justice for all living creatures.

“People have woken up to the cruelty that is the Australian meat industry.”

The pair said the concern about ethical meat production is evident throughout the marketplace.

“MLA is doing its best to delegitimise the concerns of many ethical consumers and SGLMG is supporting this work through the sponsorship deal.

“For MLA to encourage the community to perform the ‘lamb dance’ – choreographed with moves named after dismembered lamb parts – and join the parade in celebration of this cruel industry is an affront to many in 2017.”

The women have urged the Mardi Gras CEO, her staff and board members to watch footage of lambs being slaughtered at a Wangaratta abattoir “so you are properly informed about the realities behind this MLA campaign and exactly what you are promoting and supporting with this partnership.”

The women said celebrating ‘equality’ for the LGBTQ community while partnering with organisations that have no qualms about inflicting violence upon and killing baby animals is sad and hypocritical.

“We feel incredibly strongly about the issue of animal welfare in our community and urge you to stop supporting animal cruelty by severing this unethical partnership with MLA.”

MLA defends its animal health and welfare advocacy

An MLA spokesperson said MLA is an advocate for the highest animal health and welfare standards.

“As the marketing, research and development service delivery company for the Australian red meat industry, a key part of our work is to actively promote best practice management of livestock, including funding an extensive portfolio of animal health, welfare and biosecurity research & development programs.”

The spokesperson said MLA is very proud that its ‘We Love Our Lamb’ brand is partnering with the 2017 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade.

“The parade continues to champion unity and inclusivity – so it made perfect sense for lamb, as a brand that encourages diversity and inclusivity, to join in the celebration.

“Like MLA’s recent marketing activities for lamb, this partnership is about continuing to expand the reach of lamb to more Australians and new consumers,” the spokesperson said.

“The unity and inclusivity message promoted through lamb’s recent spring and summer campaigns has struck a chord with consumers and allowed MLA to reach new audiences – with more than 14 million views of the advertising materials across the two campaigns and over 153,000 shares of the content through social media channels.

“MLA’s remit, as directed by the red meat and livestock industry, is the promotion of red meat as part of a healthy, nutritious and balanced diet – and ultimately to grow demand for red meat.”


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