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8 December, 2020

'Do we really need a social licence?'

'As I write, beef is under fire for not having a “social licence”. This concept is an artificial construct brought about by environmental organisations and to an increasing extent animal welfare organisations.'


Cattle sale, saleyards

As I write, beef is under fire for not having a “social licence”. This concept is an artificial construct brought about by environmental organisations and to an increasing extent animal welfare organisations.

The accusations levelled are usually nothing short of unscientific lies with most being long discredited. The anti-meat brigade indulge in silent celebration every time the often refuted 2006 UN report “Livestock’s Long Shadow” is used by their supporters, including ill-informed celebrities, who quote it as a basis for going meat free. Even the US army thought for a while that it could fight meat free, on Monday’s.

The closed nitrogen cycle does not exist in their imaginary world.

That our well-funded statutory bodies are on the back foot and trying to address these “concerns” is inexplicable. Consumers are not at the heart of these concerns with most wanting a value for money and safe product.

There is plenty of science a with available with which industry could address these pseudo-concerns but they are so busy joining in the narrative and apologising that we are forced to look to US examples to try to change the negative perceptions.

Criticisms of the beef industry by external groups, who have no rights to be given stakeholder status except for the fact that they stand on the sidelines throwing out copious amounts of incorrect, outdated, overblown and clearly rebutted balderdash, are aimed at fulfilling their own agendas which are often unknown. They are unaccountable and yet try to hold us accountable. It is time of their reign of terror by misinformation came to an end.

Anyone out there, and there are some, who thinks that we can negotiate with these groups needs to look at the evidence. What concessions have they ever made? What policies have they changed based on science and reason? I want to know what they have done for agriculture, and I don’t mean as the facilitator of government grants. If your industry or group has a grant they should be able to get it in its own right, not as a PR exercise for an environmental group which rarely spends its own funds on anything except negative propaganda and lobbying.

The forestry and fishing industries have already felt their ire and are depleted as a result. The planned decimation is not at an end with Australian native forest harvesting being phased out with the help of a misguided Bunnings. Fishing families are being progressively forced to give up quota without compensation.

One could be forgiven for believing that organisations that are calling for all these imposts on productive industries have impeccable moral credentials. They are nothing more than virtue signallers, not exemplars.

 “Moral cause corruption” is alive and thriving with forestry protesters having a long history of unsafe and illegal practices. They also have some high-profile bankruptcies against their record.

The Australian fishing resource is the most protected and underfished in the world but environmental groups would have you believe that our fishing industry is unsustainable and that farmers are killing what is in reality, a very healthy Great Barrier Reef.

Human rights abuses in third world countries perpetrated using funding from the large environmental organisations including the one with the highest profile in Australia, are conveniently forgotten.

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