The ruling has caused fury among dairy farmers, who have branded the advert, placed in national newspapers, “misleading”.
But vegan campaigners have said the ruling proves their claim that milk production involves cruelty to young cattle.
The advert, posted in national newspapers, was found to be not misleading
The ad continued that calves “trembled and cried piteously” after being separated “fresh from their mother’s wombs”.
The ASA said: “Although the language used to express the claims was emotional and hard-hitting, we understood it was the case that calves were generally separated from their mothers very soon after birth, and we therefore concluded that the ad was unlikely to materially mislead readers.”
Sandra Higgins, the group’s Director, said: “The aim of the ad is to let people know that no matter where the milk and dairy products they purchase have come from, whether an industrial-scale dairy farm or a smallholding, for each cow, legal, standard practice necessitates her pregnancy, the removal of her calf, and her slaughter, so that we can drink the milk that she produced to feed her infant.
“The ad pertains to animal rights: the right of other feeling beings not to be our property and not to be used by us for our ends.”
More than 540,000 Britons are believed to be vegan
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs recommends that calves should not be removed from their mothers not earlier than 12 hours and not sooner than 24 hours after their birth.
It is estimated more than 540,000 vegans now live in Britain, up from 150,000 ten years ago.