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The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board said the three banned adverts aimed to compare pig welfare in Britain with the rest of the EU, where sow stalls are still in use.
But the ASA ruled that the advertisements could convince consumers that pig welfare in the UK is better than it actually is.
Joyce D’Silva, a spokeswoman for Compassion in World Farming, said, “This is a victory for consumers, who deserve to be able to choose higher welfare meat without being misled. Claims of high welfare are clearly a lucrative marketing tool but in this case they were overblown and misleading to the consumer.
“The ‘pork not porkies’ claim on the advert makes this a particularly embarrassing own-goal for Red Tractor pork. This is also a victory for those pig farmers in the UK who adhere to higher welfare standards like the Soil Association’s organic standard or the RSPCA’s Freedom Food,” she added.
A spokesperson for Red Tractor commented, “We are pleased that the ASA ruling accepts that Red Tractor pork is produced to higher standards than the EU legislation that underpins pork production in the rest of Europe, but we are slightly disappointed that the ASA felt that this obvious point of reference should have been made more explicit in the adverts.”