AN ANIMAL rights group have been slammed for putting up a billboard which claims feeding children meat is "child abuse".
The controversial hoarding, funded by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), went on display near Forthview Primary School in Edinburgh's Granton yesterday.
It screams in bold lettering: "Feeding kids meat is child abuse. Fight the fat. Go veg."
The slogan is illustrated by an image of a fat-cheeked child about to take a bite out of a burger.
Peta claim the 20ft by 10ft ad "informs" parents of the dangers of meat but the billboard has provoked claims that the message is inflammatory and trivialises the issue of child abuse.
Local SNP councillor Steve Cardownie said: "I have every sympathy for the plight of animals and recognise the impact of obesity in Edinburgh.
"But to imply any parent who buys their child a McDonald's or gives them a hamburger for tea is a child abuser is offensive.
"Child abuse is a very serious matter and this trivialises it. Any parent seeing this will not rally to their cause but rather will be rebuffed by these sentiments."
Peta argue that the billboard is trying to alert residents to the city's "ballooning childhood obesity problem".
They cite NHS figures showing around one in 10 pupils at Edinburgh primary schools are considered clinically obese.
Abi Izzard, of PETA, said: "The potential for damage from a meatheavy diet is like a ticking timebomb in kids. In addition to causing suffering to millions of animals, getting kids addicted to meat condemns an entire generation to a future of health problems.
"This ad helps inform parents that it is not just fizzy drinks and crisps they need to worry about."