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Protests continue as Authority investigates 'misleading' denials of animal cruelty by The Iams Company

Uncaged Campaigns at Crufts 2003

Uncaged Campaigns continued to intensify the pressure on IAMS - the vivisecting 'pet' food company - with the biggest protest yet at the world famous Crufts dog show, and a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority regarding their suspicious 'research policy statement'.

For the entirety of the flagship 'Best of Show' day, people arriving at or leaving Crufts were greeted with dozens of posters, banners, protesters, and human-sized dogs, highlighting the fact that IAMS has killed hundreds of cats and dogs in 'pet' food research and continues to harm and kill animals in the development of IAMS and Eukanuba foods.

The protest had three key motives:

  • To provide visitors to Crufts access to the facts about IAMS' cruel and deadly animal research policies.

  • To urge animal guardians to express their feelings about this by refusing to buy products from IAMS/Eukanuba and Procter & Gamble (P&G - who now own IAMS).

  • To encourage the Kennel Club (who organise Crufts) to stop supporting and promoting IAMS.

The Kennel Club Supports IAMS' 'Research Policy Statement'

The Kennel Club (who organise the show) claims to be concerned for the welfare of dogs. Yet it continues to accept IAMS' sponsorship of Crufts and makes public statements actively supporting IAMS, despite devastating revelations of cruel and deadly experiments performed by the company on dogs, cats and other animals.

Incredibly, the Kennel Club states that it is "satisfied that IAMS has an acceptable policy" regarding 'pet' food research. Yet IAMS' 'policy statements' are extremely ambiguous, confusing and appear to be deliberately misleading. Over a year ago, the RSPCA rejected IAMS' 'policy statements' calling them "deficient".

The Advertising Standards Authority Investigate IAMS' 'Research Policy

We have repeatedly asked IAMS for clarification on a number of vitally important issues raised by their suspicious 'research policy statement' (see our Open Letter to IAMS), but we receive either no reply or a grossly inadequate one. We have now lodged a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) regarding what we consider to be IAMS' misleading 'policy statement'.

Our complaint centred on three key statements within the IAMS 'Research Policy Statement':

  • "We will not fund or participate in any study requiring or resulting in the euthanasia of cats or dogs."

  • "We will only conduct research that is equivalent to nutritional or medical studies in people..."

  • "We will test our foods on groups of cats or dogs within the general population..."

We believe that IAMS breaches the following ASA codes:

3.1 "...advertisers must hold documentary evidence to prove all claims, whether direct or implied, that are capable of objective substantiation."

6.1 "Advertisers should not exploit the credulity, lack of knowledge or inexperience of consumers."

7.1 "No advertisement should mislead by inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration, omission or otherwise."

After assessing the complaint, the ASA have decided that it is worthy of
being formally investigated. (Please see our Open Letter to IAMS for a
discussion of these statements in relation to the Advertising Standards
Authority Codes.)

A Successful Protest

Thousands of visitors to the show took information leaflets about the animal research policies of IAMS and P&G. Everyone was either horrified to learn of the behaviour of these companies, or knew already, thanks to our high-profile campaigns.

We had hundreds of visitors to our three information tables wanting to learn more about the positions of IAMS, P&G and the Kennel Club, and to thank us for being there! Interestingly, there was a notable dearth of IAMS promotional bags being carried out at the end of the show.

The impact of the protest was magnified immeasurably by the large amount of media interest in the event, including: Central News (TV), The Birmingham Evening Mail, Dogs Today, Our Dogs, The Sheffield Star and several press agencies.

We also raised hundreds of signatures on the petitions calling on the Kennel Club to follow the lead of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), amongst others, and dump IAMS. As we presented Phil Buckley of the Kennel Club with the petitions, it was suggested that Mr Buckley and the Club might reconsider their position regarding IAMS' 'research policy' in light of a possible ASA ruling that called into question IAMS' 'policy statement.' His response was enough to give some hope that they might do just that...

Uncaged Campaigns would like to thank all those who attended the protest and who gave us their support on the day.

Related links:

Max Newton, Uncaged Campaigns 12.03.03


Uncaged 1993-2012: This is the archived website of Uncaged. All information correct at the time of archiving - November 2012.