Thursday, June 10, 2010

Animal welfare: Volkswagen withdraws 'Polo' ads

New Delhi, Jun 9 (UNI) Volkswagen, a major player in the automobile industry, has withdrawn the television and print commercials of its new car, Polo, as they could ''instigate cruelty to animals''.

The Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) had requested the company to discontinue the advertisements as they encouraged audience to speed through buffalo and rhinoceros herds, a FIAPO spokesperson said today.

''Aggrieved by the instigation that could potentially hurt animals, we had requested the company as well as the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) to initiate appropriate actions,'' she said.

The official informed UNI that FIAPO is also working on a draft code to be submitted to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and ASCI that would regulate the depiction of animals in films and advertisements.

She said violence towards animals displayed on television, even when staged, made light of a very serious issue, and public perception about the treatment of animals was often strongly influenced by images in the media.

Although the Animal Welfare Board of India sets minimum standards for animal care in some circumstances, the laws are insufficient and loosely enforced, she said.

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