An advert released by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) in the run-up to Australia day has been called "discriminatory" by vegans in the country. The Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) told the BBC it had received around 250 complaints, mostly from vegans.

The advert is a mock action-film which sees a military spec ops force tasked with bringing expatriates back to eat lamb for Australia Day. When they get to Brooklyn, New York, one expat tells them he's a vegan now, which is met with a horrified reaction.

MLA are an authority that promotes beef, lamb and goat meat in Australia and around the world. The advert was released in the run-up to Australia Day, the anniversary that marks the day the first fleet of British ships arrived to start a penal colony in Australia on 26 January 1788.

The advert has also received complaints for the use of the word 'boomerang' – an indigenous term – with some suggesting that its use is culturally insensitive. MLA told the BBC that the advert was "tongue in cheek".

"Consumers are free to make up their own minds in relation to lifestyle choices, including what they eat. We appreciate that not all Australians eat lamb," they said in a statement.

"MLA is also aware of some complaints about the use of the word "boomerang" in the advertisement. It is not our intention to cause any offence through the use of this term which is used to symbolise Australians returning home for Australia Day."