ACT Primary Industries Minister Shane Rattenbury has accused federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce of blame-shifting after he questioned footage of alleged sheep abuse in Australian shearing sheds.
Animal rights organisation PETA called for an end to the country's wool industry as it last week published an online video which showed shearers kicking, punching and beating sheep with electric clippers and a hammer.
Mr Joyce has questioned the investigation and accused PETA of being an extremist group that wanted to damage Australia's agriculture industry.
But Mr Rattenbury said in a statement the footage showed "senseless brutality'' and should be roundly condemned.
The Greens minister slammed Mr Joyce's comparison of the animal activists who exposed the alleged acts of cruelty to someone breaking into a family home.
"He toed a dangerous line between condemning the illegal conduct of some, and encouraging others to keep their abuse and their cruelty behind closed doors.
“Barnaby Joyce needs to stop blame shifting and deal with the real issue here – the Australian public have a right to feel confident that the animals involved in their food and clothing production are treated humanely."