Alannah MacTiernan in fight to retain agriculture portfolio amid WA foot-and-mouth disease fears

WA’s two peak farming 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 this week published an op-ed in the state’s premier farming newspaper, The Countryman, saying it was time for veteran MP Alannah MacTiernan to step aside or be sacked.

The Pastoralists and Graziers Association of WA (PGA) president Tony Seabrook said Ms MacTiernan had not had the confidence of the sector for “a very long time”, but stopped short of calling for 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 came under fire last week over comments she reportedly made to a journalist about the impact of foot and mouth disease, saying it would be “costly and unfortunate” but would “not see all of the cattle industry decimated” and that she “would not say it would be catastrophic”.

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