UFU disappointed by Translink advertising

Friday, 17 January, 2020

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) has been contacted by a number of members expressing concern regarding vegan advertisements on their buses. The adverts which are also printed on the side of school buses, wrongly demonises the livestock industry to promote the vegan lifestyle.

UFU president Ivor Ferguson said, “Our members, many of whom rely on the transportation service of Translink in rural areas and whose children take their buses to school, are outraged by the vegan adverts and contacted us to express their concerns. A public service should be impartial on all matters but the vegan adverts on the Translink buses uses emotive language that singles out our local farmers and has the potential to do serious damage to our agriculture industry and the livelihood of our farming families. Our produce is farmed to some of the highest environmental and animal welfare standards in the world so that consumers can enjoy quality food without worrying about what it contains or where it came from but Translink’s adverts dismisses the facts helping to perpetuate a negative narrative about eating meat and consuming dairy products.”

The UFU wrote to Translink regarding the vegan adverts and were unsatisfied by their response which reflected an inability to remove them. The advert on the Translink Foyle Ulsterbus reads, ‘It’s not a personal choice when someone is killed, use plants not animals’.

“We respect all personal decisions when it comes to diets but to demonise the livestock industry to promote another industry is wrong. Translink’s vegan adverts wrongly links agriculture to plant-based diets and the language is attempting to influence the general public to isolate the farming community through misinformation. NI is the envy of the world when it comes to high-quality food production and animal welfare standards, the agri-food industry turns over £4.5 billion annually supporting the NI economy and one in every eight jobs in the UK, our farmers care for the environment and many have diversified their businesses helping to boost tourism in local areas, all of which benefits Translink.

“We want to work with Translink and hope they will review their vegan advertisements. Bus Éireann removed vegan advertisements from their buses in the Republic of Ireland after receiving a high volume of concerns and we would like to see Translink do the same,” said the UFU president.