Animal Rights Group Removes Controversial Billboard

July 7, 2008 - 7:02 PM

( - A billboard showing part of a slaughtered cow -- erected as part of a McDonald's restaurant boycott by an animal rights group -- has aroused the fury of some residents of southeastern Virginia.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) erected the billboard, showing a bloody cow's head, in the Virginia Beach area.

PETA officials decided to remove the billboard after callers to a Virginia Beach radio station complained that it was scaring their children. Two disc jockeys offered to promote PETA's web site on the air and eat only vegetarian meals for two weeks, if PETA agreed to take down the billboard.

A spokesman for McDonald's restaurants at the company's Des Plaines, Illinois headquarters called the PETA campaign "unwarranted and tasteless and disgusting."

PETA launched the worldwide campaign against McDonald's because it believes the fast-food giant has been unfair in its treatment of animals.

Meanwhile, McDonald's corporation reported Thursday that its third quarter earnings rose 12 percent to $541 million. The company attributed the earnings rise to continued growth in its restaurants overseas and strong sales at its United States restaurants.