Alannah MacTiernan fights to keep her agriculture portfolio amid WA foot and mouth disease fears

WA’s two main farm bodies say they have lost faith in the state’s agriculture minister over comments she made about foot-and-mouth disease, but some farmers fear the issue has become highly politicized.

WAFarmers President John Hassell published an op-ed in the state’s premier agricultural newspaper, The Countryman, this week saying it was time for veteran Congresswoman Alannah MacTiernan to step down or be sacked.

Pastoralists and Graziers Association of WA (PGA) president Tony Seabrook said Ms MacTiernan hadn’t had the confidence of the sector for “a very long time”, but stopped short of calling her head.

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) has been detected on Australia’s doorstep in Indonesia, sparking widespread fears it will soon arrive in WA.

Ms MacTiernan was criticized last week for comments she allegedly made to a reporter about the impact of foot-and-mouth disease, saying it would be ‘expensive and unfortunate’ but she ‘wouldn’t see the whole beef industry decimated” and that she “would not say that it would be catastrophic”.

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