Barnaby Joyce responds to Morrissey’s live animal exports demand letter

By @chelean on
Morrissey performs at the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware June 19, 2015.
Morrissey performs at the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware June 19, 2015. Reuters/Mark Makela

Deputy Prime Minister of Australia Barnaby Joyce has responded to English singer Morrissey’s letter calling for an end to live animal exports. The politician, who is also the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, has hit out at the former The Smiths singer for his criticisms of Australia’s live export industry.

The vegan musician wrote a letter to Joyce on behalf of the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to lecture the minister about the “horrific cruelty” of live animal exports industry.

“Dear Minister, the horrific cruelty in the live-export industry is heavy enough to sink a ship, yet you insist on condemning millions of animals to this fate every year,” the 57-year-old rocker wrote. “You can deny it until you are red(der) in the face, but the industry is dying.”

He went on to say that Joyce was on the “wrong side of history” for rejecting reports of mistreatment of Australian cattle overseas.

“If meat is murder, live export is the slow boat to hell,” Morrissey continued, telling Joyce to out the live-export industry down for a kinder future.

Unfazed, Joyce shut down Morrissey’s letter in two tweets, saying that he wasn’t a fan of The Smiths, but he was a fan of Australian families relying on the $2 billion live export industry.

This is not the first time Joyce has infuriated foreign celebrities. In 2015, his infamous squabble with Johnny Depp and then-wife Amber Heard made it to international media. While Depp was filming a sequel to film franchise “Pirates of the Caribbean” in the country, Heard illegally brought their Yorkshire Terriers, Pistol and Boo, in the country, breaching Australia’s strict quarantine laws.

Depp and Heard were forced to record an apology video in the end.