THE Pastoralists and Graziers Association of WA has questioned the intent of a letter from Animals Australia “addressing any misapprehension” the PGA might have about the length of time the activist group had held video footage of livestock cruelty in Egyptian abattoirs.
The legal letter was emailed to PGA president Rob Gillam on Sunday May 5, more than two days after the latest live exports scandal hit the national headlines.But PGA spokesman Sheldon Mumby said the “curious” letter was emailed the night before Mr Gillam, or anyone else from his farm lobby group, had commented publicly on the Egyptian issue.Should activist groups be subject to an enforceable code of conduct? Click here to vote in our online pollHe said Mr Gillam spoke a journalist late Sunday and his comments - published on Monday - made no mention of the video footage or its origins.“We refer to the recent suspension of the live cattle trade to Egypt, and in particular, the evidence provided by Animals Australia to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry last week... in relation to the suspension,” the letter from Animals Australia legal counsel Shatha Hamade said.“It has come to our attention that the PGA is under the misapprehension that the evidence was obtained by Animals Australia in October 2012.“The purpose of this correspondence is to address any such misapprehension.“Please be advised that Animals Australia received the evidence in April 2013. The evidence was then promptly provided to the Department.”Mr Mumby said the letter was the only correspondence - written, telephone or electronic - PGA has ever received from Animals Australia.He said the letter seemed to be “an attempt to stop us from attacking them over the age of the footage”.
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