THE head of one of Australia's largest agriculture companies has caused a stir after comparing Prime Minister Julia Gillard to a ''non-productive old cow'' during a speech in Adelaide this week.
David Farley, chief executive of Australian Agricultural Company was giving a 30-minute lecture at an agriculture conference on Thursday when the comments were made.
Mr Farley yesterday told The Saturday Age the comments were ''tongue in cheek'' and taken out of context.
The company has plans to build an abattoir near Darwin.
The slaughterhouse would specialise in killing older cows for cheap meat.
''This plant is designed to process old cows,'' Mr Farley told the conference.
''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.''
News site InDaily reported the remark was met with sustained laughter by the crowd.
It is not the first the time PM has been publicly abused. Shock jock Alan Jones infamously said Ms Gillard should be put in a ''chaff bag'' and thrown out to sea.
Minister for the Status of Women Julie Collins said Mr Farley's comments were ''appalling and totally unacceptable''. They amounted to ''destructive prejudices long past their use-by date''.
''Mr Farley and those who laughed along with him should take a good, long, hard look at themselves.''