Animal activist group Animals Australia have asked supermarket giant Coles to withdrawal their Make it Possible shopper bags from stores.
The decision to pull the bags was a direct response of the ‘vicious campaign’ launched by the National Farmers Federation (NFF) against Coles and Wesfarmers.
"It is a dark day for animal welfare in this country when a retailer’s support for an animal welfare initiative is vehemently opposed by the farming lobby,” said Animals Australia Campaign Director, Lyn White.
“This decision was not made lightly but in the midst of this distracting attack, the animals at the heart of this issue were being disregarded and forgotten. We also could not stand by and watch an act of generosity from Coles be turned against them.
“It is one thing for these groups to defend the live export trade, but to actively oppose a public initiative encouraging consumers to use their purchasing power to get laying hens out of cages and a better quality of life for pigs and meat chickens in this country is deplorable.”
White says that while some members of the farming community may see the decision to pull the bags as a victory, she urges them to reflect on the message that they are sending to the wider community.
The alliance between Coles and AA was designed to provide a platform for farmers to move to more humane systems, but White says this message has been lost.
She adds that the NFF’s reaction to the campaign has only increased the groups’ determination to provide factory-farmed animals with the representation they need, and the group will bring back their successful Make it Possible television commercial to air from next Monday.
“Assisting us to keep this ad on air will provide the many thousands of Australians who have been angered by the farming lobby's attack on Coles with the opportunity to respond in the most positive way.”