Ruling supports marketing agency’s message that California producers provide good care for their dairy cows.
California dairy interests have won a battle against animal rights activists.
The Sacramento Superior Court of the State of California has rejected claims by People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) that the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) made “false, unwarranted and misleading” marketing claims about the care provided by California dairy farmers to their cows.
In the ruling issued Aug. 23, Superior Court Judge Lloyd Connelly denied PETA’s 2011 petition, saying that CMAB’s advertisements “convey a message that dairy farmers work fulltime to secure the health and comfort of their cows by providing a nutritious diet, good medical care and healthy living arrangements consistent with the highest animal welfare standards – matters shown to be supported by the direct aggregated experience and knowledge of CDFA [California Department of Food and Agriculture] personnel and CMAB members.”
The Court further determined that CDFA and CMAB members “have extensive experience and knowledge that provides strong evidentiary support for the claims made by the challenged marketing statements.”
CMAB issued this statement, saying, “California dairy families take the well-being and care of their cows very seriously. The CMAB’s key responsibility is, and always has been, to market and to create a demand for California dairy products. Through its role, the CMAB also contributes to creating choices for consumers around buying dairy products, and we look forward to continuing to play a role in Americans’ dairy choices.”
Western United Dairymen CEO Michael Marsh hailed the ruling. “CMAB is correct in asserting the fact California dairy families care deeply about the care and health of their cows,” Marsh said. “We owe this victory to the proud dairy families that provide our country and the world with fine milk and dairy products and to the wonderful industry programs that make all this possible.”