An Australian MP has been condemned as unfit for office after he revealed in parliament that he shot and ate an elephant during a hunting trip in Zimbabwe, noting later that it was “quite tasty”.
Robert Borsak, a New South Wales state MP from the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party, caused outrage among animal rights groups several years ago when photographs emerged of him kneeling beside a dead elephant during a hunting trip in Africa.
During a late-night session of parliament on Tuesday, he was railing against pro-animal activists and defending the right to eat meat when a Greens MP asked him: : “Did you eat the elephant?”
“Yes,” responded Mr Borsak.
Jeremy Buckingham, the Greens MP, described the revelation as disturbing and questioned Mr Borsak’s suitability to be an MP.
“It’s sick to shoot and kill an elephant for thrills, and it’s revolting that Mr Borsak would eat the elephant,” he said.
“He’s unfit for office.”
In a subsequent newspaper interview, Mr Borsak said he did not eat the elephant “in one sitting” and insisted it was killed as part of a managed animal control program.
He said the meat tasted like venison and he ate parts of the head and neck fried with butter.
“All the hunting of elephants or indeed any animals in Africa is done on the basis that nothing is wasted,” he told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph.
“I eat it while hunting over there, usually in the form of biltong [dried meat]. Most meat, however goes to the traditional owners of the land upon which they are hunted and killed, along with hunting fees.”
Mr Borsak said he shot the elephant in Zimbabwe in a traditional tribal area in the Zambezi Valley which, unlike the country’s national parks, allows hunting.
“The reality is that the hunting programs in conservation terms in Zimbabwe are so successful that there are far too many elephants,” he said.
“This is happening all over Africa this is how we in the first world are destroying wildlife in Africa, by playing the animal rights propaganda.”
The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party said the hunting trip occurred before Mr Borsak became an MP in 2010.
A party spokesman said Mr Buckingham, the Greens MP, was a hypocrite and had happily consumed Mr Borsak’s “freshly hunted venison sausages” at a parliamentary barbecue.