Religious leader wants ‘insensitive’ lamb ad execs to quit

By Oscar Rousseau

- Last updated on GMT

The depiction of Lord Ganesh has angered Hindus
The depiction of Lord Ganesh has angered Hindus

Related tags Meat Board of directors Lamb

Prominent Hindu statesman Rajan Zed wants the resignation of two senior Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) officials after its marketing campaign’s portrayal of deity Lord Ganesh angered religious circles.

Zed wants MLA’s chair of the board of directors, Dr Michele Allan, and managing director, Richard Norton, the levy board’s highest-ranking officials, to resign over the controversial advert.

He accused Allan and Norton of “working against the interests​” of the MLA, “upsetting consumers​” and using “cheap tactics to attract attention instead of seriously attempting​” to prevent consumers from reducing their lamb consumption.

If the advert is not immediately pulled and Allan and Norton remain, Zed warned Hindus could launch a global boycott of Australian lamb.

This would be unwelcome for Australian meat exporters, who ship red meat to 100 countries generating billions of dollars in revenue. And one may need to ask what impact a boycott of Australian lamb would have on the 50,000 MLA levy payers.

How long would Australia keep its position as one of the largest exporters of red meat in the world?​” asked Zed in a statement threatening a Hindu-wide abstention of Australian lamb.

Over one billion Hindus populate the earth, with the vast majority living India. It is unclear, however, how much Australian lamb is collectively consumed by the Hindu race.

Australia does not actually export a huge quantity of lamb to Hindu-majority India, however, with just 51 tonnes sent in the 12 months to March 2017, according to data provided exclusively by World Trade Stats.

MLA could not be reached for comment at the time of writing.

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