NSW MP Robert Borsak has boasted of shooting and eating an elephant in a speech at state parliament. The Shooters and Fishers politician made the admission during a late night tirade on Tuesday against the “insidious growth of skewed animal rights ideology.”
“Animals do not have an intrinsic human right,” he told the upper house. “Humans have a right to eat meat if they choose to do so. It is as simple as that,” he said
After jeering Mr Borsak, Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham asked if he had eaten the dead African elephants that he has repeatedly posed next to.
“Yes,” responded Mr Borsak.
On Wednesday, Mr Borsak emphatically re-endorsed the claim. “Yes I did, but it wasn’t in one sitting,” he said.
“It tastes like venison. There are parts of the head and the neck which we sliced and fried with a bit of butter, it’s very tasty.”
Mr Borsak said he thought it would be anathema to kill the animal and not utilise it.
“That’s what conservation is, controlling to some degree animals interaction with man.”
Mr Buckingham condemned Mr Borsak for slaughtering the animal.
“It’s sick to shoot and kill an elephant for thrills, and its revolting that Mr Borsak would eat the elephant,” said the Greens MP. “He’s unfit for office.”
In response, the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party hit back by calling Mr Buckingham a hypocrite, and circulated a photograph of the MP eating a “freshly-hunted” sausage at a barbecue.
“Mr Buckingham is rehashing an old story about a hunting trip that took place before Mr Borsak was elected to the NSW Legislative Council,” A party spokesman said.
“The meat from Mr Borsak’s hunting trip was offered to the traditional owners of the land as a mark of respect, on top of other fees paid.
“We are surprised at Mr Buckingham’s hypocrisy. Mr Buckingham was more than happy to eat Mr Borsak’s freshly-hunted venison sausages at a NSW Parliament House BBQ raising money for Westmead Children’s Hospital in June 2013.
“Mr Buckingham happily went back for ‘seconds’ and ‘thirds’.”
A further claim, that the Shooters and Fishers were “still waiting” for the Greens MP’s gold-coin donation, was rejected by Mr Buckingham on Twitter.
“I paid for the snags,” he wrote, “and I hope they weren’t wombat or fox.”
Mr Borsak first drew outrage in 2013 after photos emerged of him posing next to a dead elephant.
He said that eating the animal was not considered unusual in Zimbabwe, adding that dried elephant meat was similar to jerky and was a common form of nutrition.
“Where we hunt elephants in Zimbabwe, elephants are taken as part of animal control programs. Under the law you are not allowed to waste the animals. 99 per cent of the animal then gets taken,” he said.
In parts of Africa, including Cameroon and the Congo hunting for elephant meat has led to concerns over their long term survival. In the west, ivory tusks remain the most lucrative resource for African poachers.
On Tuesday, Mr Borsak attacked the Animal Justice party for its “delusional nirvana,” and for placing him on a list of the “dirty dozen” politicians accused of assaulting animal rights.
“Extremist animal rights groups, many of whom engage in illegal actions trespass and harassment, have far too great a say in public policy,” he said.
The Animal Justice party has been contacted for comment.