A SHROPSHIRE councillor has spoke out after online backlash following comments he made about a vegan advert.

Councillor Steve Charmley took to Twitter earlier this week to criticise an advert urging people to go vegan for the month of January.

The advert was placed on the back of an Arriva bus in Shropshire, something which Cllr Charmley objected to, saying the advert shouldn’t be on show in a “great county built on agriculture”.

Cllr Charmley has since spoken about how he feels the advert is misleading.

He said: “Above all I must say that I have no issue with people who make the choice to be vegan.

“My gripe is not with how people choose to eat or those taking on a vegan diet.

“The problem I had was more with the background to the advert on the bus.

“After researching the advert, I found it was talking about how dairy farming is cruel and as a result people shouldn’t eat dairy products.

“I have been a dairy farmer myself and I can assure people that isn’t the case.

“My issue is the fact that the advert is very inaccurate and emotive, and this is something that does affect the way in which young people in particular see things.

“There is a huge historical farming background in Shropshire, and the UK farming industry as a whole is a multi-billion-pound industry which employs more than 4,000,000 people.

“More than 95 per cent of UK dairy farmers are Red Tractor Assured – but these things aren’t mentioned in the advert.”

NFU representative Malcolm Roberts echoed Cllr Charmley's views, saying he feels the adverts are offensive to those working in the industry.

He said: "Anyone producing meat or dairy will find the ideas behind the adverts offensive.

"They are giving people the idea that animals are suffering and that farming is being carried out in a way that doesn't comply with animal welfare standards. I think it's very unfair.

"I'm not anti-vegan by any means - it's a personal choice, but I do feel as though it is an unfair representation of what the industry is really like."