Meat & Livestock Australia has demanded an animal rights organisation take down a parody video using footage from its latest Australia Day campaign and the ad’s star, Lee Lin Chin, along with graphic images from a slaughterhouse.
Non-profit organisation Aussie Farms, which makes films highlighting cruelty to animals in the meat industry, posted its version of the ad on its Facebook page this week as complaints about the MLA’s ad and a scene featuring commandoes torching furniture in the homes of a vegan reached record levels.
The Aussie Farms parody video, which uses seven seconds of footage from the MLA ad, has been posted with the clickbait headline “Hilarious behind the scenes clip from new Aus Day Lamb ad”.
The edited clip opens with Lee Lin Chin announcing “Commence Operation Boomerang” before cutting to graphic images of lambs being slaughtered in an abattior.
The footage highlights that the animals had not been properly stunned before being slaughtered.
Warning: video contains graphic images that may be offensive to some readers
Aussie Farms, founded by Chris Delforce, who produced the confronting documentary Lucent which went behind the scenes of the pig farming industry, said he produced an edited version of the ad to show people how the industry operated.
MLA sent a takedown notice to Aussie farms on Thursday night saying the use of Lee in the ad was a breach of copyright.
However, Delforce told Mumbrella that he believed his use fell under the fair use provisions.
“I would call it a paraody or a criticism and believe we have the right to use the footage under fair use,” said Delforce.
“I used a clickbait headline… in a sense to trick people to watch.”
The footage was taken at an abattoir in mid 2014 in cameras secretly placed by activists, but it is the first time Delforce has used the footage to parody a meat marketing campaign.
“I wasn’t suprised to get the letter,” he said.
“I think the demand is about intimidating and bullying and they are expecting me to fold, but I’m not going to.”
Delfoce said he though it was ironic that MLA was telling people offended by the scene featuring the vegan that it was just humour, but did not appreciate his “parody” of the ad.
“I think it’s funny that they respond to criticism saying people have to have a sense of humour, but when it comes to them that goes out the window.”
Rather than take the ad down, Delforce said he had launched a fundraising campaign to help boost its reach in the lead up to Australia Day.
Meat & Livestock Australia declined to comment on the demand that Aussie Farms take down the video.
The Australia Day ad showing Lee Lin Chin launching a rescue mission for expatriate Australians around the world to bring them home for an Australia Day lamb barbecue has been viewed more than 1.1 million times on Youtube, while it is understood the Aussie Farms parody has been viewed about 15,000 times.