PM Julia Gillard compared to ‘old cow’ by CEO explaining plans for abattoir to slaughter old cows.

This week Australian Agricultural Co CEO David Farley compared Prime Minister Julia Gillard to ‘an old cow’. This while explaining plans to build an abattoir near Darwin that – wait for it – specialises in slaughtering old cows.

‘This plant is designed to process old cows,’ Mr Farley said in a speech at a conference on Thursday. ‘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.’

Adelaide’s InDaily reported his remarks, which were apparently met with laughter by the crowd.

Yesterday Mr Farley told SMH that his comments were tongue in cheek and taken out of context.

Taken out of context, or just taken out of the conference? To recap: ‘So it’s designed [to slaughter] non-productive old cows – Julia Gillard’s got to watch out.’

That is some context, Mr Farley.

I’d go into all the levels of wrongness here, but I hope I don’t have to. Any right thinking person, regardless of their political views, can see that an apology from Mr Farley is in order. Calling any woman – PM or otherwise – an old cow fit for slaughter is unacceptable, especially coming from the CEO of Australia’s largest beef cattle company. This on top of Sydney radio host Alan Jones’s recent declaration that our PM should be put in a ‘chaff bag’ and thrown out to sea.

Abuse of this kind – whether against Howard, Rudd, Gillard or Abbott – sullies political debate. When said by a major business leader in a speech, an apology is appropriate.

Honestly, it’s time to call this sort of abuse what it is – misogynist, disrespectful and unacceptable.



  1. I agree with you. Our PM has reaped abuse from all sides mostly from men and it should stop. I repect our leaders or at least I use to but most of them now belong in the gutter. It is time we showed our young people that this sort of behavior is not to be tolerated.

  2. Cheap shots like this say a whole lot more about the person making the jibe than it does about their target. Stupid, uninspired rhetoric like this has no place in political or any other debate. Low brow, so called humour… I hate it. Does anyone see the irony of a fat pig running the abattoir? Shades of Animal Farm, methinks..

  3. Anonymous

    It is sad to see that so much of the debate about this online has been divided along political lines (some of it quite sick and even more viciously sexist). It doesn’t matter your party preferences, or if you think Ms Gillard is a terrible PM (many do), surely this kind of comment against anyone is inappropriate. Imagine if a CEO got up at a podium and said you or your wife or your daughter was like an old cow fit for slaughter?

    When you are a business leader or leader of any kind making a speech, and you go too far, it is appropriate to admit fault. If business leaders (earning well over 1.1mil per year… ) can’t be held accountable for what they say in a speech, who can?

    I was happy to see the Attorney General and the Minister For The Status of Women comment on this:

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