Burrumbuttock Hay Runners lynchpin Brendan Farrell has attacked a Federal Government plan to invest part of a $146 million package on training abattoir workers in Vietnam.
The furious farmer has denounced the five-year Aus4skills initiative to upskill workers in Vietnam to meet international animal welfare and food safety standards saying the money should be spent at home.
“It’s got me buggered and baffled,” he said in a video posted on Facebook.
“We’re scraping the barrel all the time to get fuel in trucks to get hay to farmers in need for this drought that doesn’t seem to go away.
“But the thing that’s really p***ed me off is all of sudden we can whack out $146m to train Vietnamese abattoir workers on killing livestock better.”
Mr Farrell said there were charities, including his, working to help farmers in all aspects of agriculture.
“In the last four years we’ve done 13 hay runs and tried to help as many farmers as we can – 12,500 of them,” he said.
“Why not put money into industries here that are hurting?”
Mr Farrell’s rant has gone viral at a time when the government is already under siege over live exports.
Earlier this month it was revealed 2400 sheep died from extreme heat during a voyage from Western Australia to the Middle East in August 2017.
Footage of suffering sheep was provided to agriculture minister David Littleproud and aired on the Nine Network's 60 Minutes program.
On Monday, Farrer MP Sussan Ley met with National Farmers Federation and WA Farmers’ representatives in Albury to discuss her plan to introduce a bill to ban long haul live sheep exports.
After the discussions, Ms Ley said she remained "unpersuaded" by arguments to continue with long haul live trade beyond a transition period for the industry.
"For decades the suffering of animals has underpinned the operating model of the live sheep trade," she said in a statement.
Australians will no longer accept rural export industries with animal welfare practices that are inferior to those our farmers willingly comply with every day.
Nor will they understand the logic of shipping sheep to the Middle East, only to be feed-lotted, processed and exported to third countries, labelled as Australian product and competing with our domestic meat producers.”
Ms Ley said more processing in Australia would be a positive outcome for the country.
One could only imagine that Mr Farrell would agree.
During his April 18 outburst online, the hay runner said enough is enough.
“I feel sorry for my kids,” he said.
“They are 8, 6 and 4 … I feel bloody sorry for them when they get older – and their kids – where this country’s going to be is beyond me.
“We have to make serious change now and we have to stop supporting other countries when our country is in more sh*t than you can poke a stick at.”