Anti-dairy campaigners say they have raised £5,000 to pay for billboards in 10 British cities urging consumers to boycott milk.
The campaign group Animal Equality said the billboards would be displayed to coincide with “Februdairy” – the dairy industry’s month-long promotion.
Due to start on 1 February, Februdairy will see farmers and their supporters using social media to highlight the benefits of consuming milk and dairy products.
The Animal Equality campaign aims to counter those claims.
It said £500 would be spent on each billboard in London, Belfast, Oxford, Glasgow, Cardiff, Leeds, Southampton, Manchester, Nottingham and Birmingham.
Animal Equality said a “cycle of suffering” went into every glass of milk and was an “inescapable part of commercial farming”.
It said calves were forcibly separated from their mothers, with bull calves usually killed at just a few days old because they cannot produce milk.
“The public deserves to know about dairy’s dirty secrets,” said the campaign group.
“If the industry won’t tell the truth, then we will.”
Farmers have criticised similar adverts as misleading, arguing that they demonise the livestock industry to promote the vegan lifestyle.
Earlier this month, the Ulster Farmers Union (UFU) wrote to transport company Translink urging it to take down vegan adverts on the side of buses in Northern Ireland.
One advert said: “Dairy takes babies from their mothers”.
UFU president Ivor Ferguson said the adverts dismissed the facts, “helping to perpetuate a negative narrative about eating meat and consuming dairy products.”
Success for dairy
The adverts were later removed.
Billboards promoting dairy products have been more successful.
Co-funded by AHDB Dairy and Dairy UK, a digital marketing and billboard campaign in 2017 was credited with convincing youngsters to continue buying milk-based products.
It featured a spoof government agency – the Department of Dairy Related Scrumptious Affairs – to target millennials with a positive dairy message.
Research on the back of the £1.2m consumer campaign found that 11% of 26-41-year-olds were less likely to replace dairy products with alternatives – well ahead of expectations.