Dairy farmers frothing over Hughesy's latest challenge to give up milk

COMEDIAN Dave Hughes has picked a fight in his home territory - and dairy farmers are frothing at the mouth.

Hughes, formerly of Warrnambool, was drawn into the controversy during a humourous chat segment this week on Melbourne radio station NOVA-FM when Hughes said he would think about giving up milk, saying it was for "baby cows".

This prompted an animal rights listener to create an on-line petition "to help curb Hughesy's animal milk drinking habits".

The petitioner, identified as Kirsten Ann, listed 13 reasons for ditching dairy products and said humans were the only species that drank the milk of another species.Needless to say, her views did not go down well with farmers and Dairy Australia quickly launched its own list of 13 reasons why milk is good for you.

- Read Kirsten Ann's list here, along with the response by Dairy Australia-

Jock O'Keefe, the Winslow-based leader of dairying lobby group Farmer Power, described the petition as part of propaganda by radicals.

He said Hughes grew up in a rural environment in Warrnambool and should be aware of the importance of dairying."I'd encourage him to have nothing to do with the stunt," Mr O'Keefe told The Standard. 

He urged south-west residents to come out in support of the dairy industry and object to the "radical campaign."

Corangamite Shire Council mayor and former dairy farmer Cr Chris O'Connor echoed the angry reaction yesterday afternoon.Cr O'Connor had this piece of advice for the comedian: "Hey Dave, We'd rather laugh with you than at you. Remember your roots. The south-west produces one quarter of Australia's milk and one in five of our people are employed in dairy."

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