Article courtesy of Kalgoorlie Miner
Australia’s richest woman Gina Rinehart has issued a scathing attack on animal cruelty perpetrators, saying the nation’s agriculture sector has no room for those who fail to adhere to strict livestock welfare measures.
Speaking at a Kidman and Co event in Adelaide earlier this month, the mining and pastoral billionaire condemned animal welfare breaches.
Mrs Rinehart amplified calls for offenders to be removed from the industry and said livestock cruelty incidents put agriculture’s reputation in jeopardy.
“As I’ve made plain, people who don’t treat animals with care should get out of the industry,” she said.
The comments come after an Israeli television report this month aired harrowing footage of cattle being beaten at WA pastoral stations.
Yeeda Pastoral Company confirmed its Kilto Station, in the Kimberley, was one of the multiple properties where the footage was filmed by undercover reporters last year.
After acquiring a stake in Kidman — one of the nation’s biggest beef producers — in 2016, Mrs Rinehart said she was “deeply upset” to understand the company had skimped on painkiller use to save money.
“It upset me deeply to learn just after we purchased Kidman that a previous CEO had prohibited the use of painkillers on cattle just to save some dollars,” she said.
“Indeed, the best Kidman cattle managers I spoke to were independently deeply upset by such practice.
“I was outraged and immediately requested that the use of painkillers be compulsory.”
Mrs Rinehart added Kidman and Hancock-owned cattle stations maintained high animal welfare standards.
However, she said there was always room for improvement.
“Our culture, happy healthy cattle, are better cattle, has spread across Kidman, and I repeat, anyone who doesn’t like and fulfil the culture we have introduced, should not join Kidman,” she said. “But all truly good managers and cattlemen share this culture and we at Kidman only want the best managers and cattlemen.”
Mrs Rinehart also used the address to take aim at animal activists over their growing anti-agriculture sentiments.