Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:47 pm Post subject: MLA Buys Animals Australia Websites
We always knew that their product is questionable, so why is Meat and Livestock Australia buying up web domains containing the words "animals" and "Australia"?
The move has lead Animals Australia to question MLA's motives and in a tongue and cheek game the group launched a competition asking people what they think the peak livestock meat group plans to do with the sites.
MLA currently owns the domainsanimalsaustralia.com.au, animalsaustralia.net.au,animalsaustralia.info and animalsaustralia.net. The domain names are not active, but detail when they were bought by MLA.
Animals Australia spokeswoman, Lisa Chalk, toldweeklytimesnow the move was "bizarre" and MLA's motives were yet to be seen.
She said the organisation was surprised at first and then flattered when they realised.
"This is clear recognition that the work we are doing to expose and address animal cruelty is having an impact," Ms Chalk said.
"There are a number of possible reasons why people or companies buy the domain names of competitors or other organisations - very few of those reasons aren't questionable in their motives. But without MLA having actually putting anything on these websites we have no idea what their intention was."
The group told supporters on its website the marketing method had been used in the past by other groups to misdirect people looking for a competitor, unscrupulously boost a group's web traffic, to create a fake website that fraudulently poses as something it's not or hold a competitor to ransom by offering to sell domains back at an exorbitant price.
She said if MLA chose to donate the sites to Animals Australia the group would be "very grateful".
MLA spokeswoman Belinda Roseby said the four domain names were bought in 2008, 2009, and in January 2011 for about $70 each a year.
She said MLA owned "over a hundred domain names".
"On behalf of Australia's meat and livestock industry, MLA holds a range of relevant global and Australian web domain names," Ms Roseby said.
"Australian sheep and cattle producers care for more than 100 million animals in Australia on a daily basis making the terms 'Australia' and 'animals' highly relevant."
By Matilda Abey and Sarah Scopelianos, Weekly Times
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