Farming leader likens PM to 'old cow'

THE head of one of Australia's largest agriculture companies has caused a stir after comparing the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, to a ''non-productive old cow'' during a speech in Adelaide this week.

David Farley, chief executive of Australian Agricultural Company - commonly known as AACo - was giving a 30-minute lecture at the Invigorating Agriculture conference on Thursday when the comments were made, according to InDaily, a South Australian independent news site. Mr Farley told the Herald yesterday the comments were ''tongue in cheek'' and taken out of context.

AACo, Australia's largest beef cattle company, has plans to build an abattoir near Darwin. The slaughterhouse would specialise in killing older cows for cheap meat as a way of adding value for farmers when the cattle were no longer productive.

''This plant is designed to process old cows,'' Mr Farley told the conference. ''So the old cows that become non-productive, instead of making a decision to either let her die in the paddock or put her in the truck … this gives us a chance to take non-productive animals off and put them through the processing system.

''So it's designed for non-productive old cows - Julia Gillard's got to watch out.''

InDaily reported the remark was met with sustained laughter.

AACo is heavily involved in the live export trade and Mr Farley has been publicly critical of the government's snap decision to suspend trade with Indonesia last year over revelations of gross cruelty in Indonesian abattoirs.

It is not the first the time the Ms Gillard has been publicly abused. Sydney radio host Alan Jones infamously said she should be put in a ''chaff bag'' and thrown out to sea and, during an anti-carbon tax rally, endorsed by Coalition MPs, there were posters saying ''ditch the witch.''

Ms Gillard is on holiday.

The story Farming leader likens PM to 'old cow' first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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