'Lack of compassion': Senator slammed over 'disrespectful' roadkill joke

·News and Video Producer

A federal politician has attracted a barrage of criticism after joking about a native bird being killed by a car.

Liberal National Party Senator James McGrath posted an image to Facebook of what looks to be a dead cockatoo caught under the roof rack of a car.

Above the image the Queensland senator wrote, “Car 1. Flock of cockatoos 0”.

At the time of writing, the post had attracted almost 400 comments, most of them negative.

“This photo really proves a lack of compassion and respect for our precious, unique wildlife. You’ve definitely lost my vote Senator,” one person wrote.

“While accidents happen and while unintentional, to post this shows a lack of moral values and compassion. Typical politician,” said another.

A screenshot of a dead cockatoo posted to the senator's Facebook page
Many have suggested Senator James McGrath's post to Facebook hasn't gone as planned. Source: Facebook

“Been a supporter so far but this? Wow. As conservatives, we teach our children to care for animals,” said someone else.

Another person questioned whether Senator McGrath would have posted the image if it was a dead dog instead of a cockatoo.

“Good for you showing your true colours. That's one sure fired way to not be re-elected. Btw I have a pet cockatoo,” one commented.

Another questioned whether the senator’s “attempt at humour” was a result of his account being hacked.

The post comes a week after federal environment minister Sussan Ley launched an app to help authorities better protect wildlife from motorists.

Senator McGrath in parliament.
An attempt at a joke by Senator McGrath has received a lot of criticism on Facebook. Source: AAP

Brightside Farm Sanctuary’s Emma Haswell, who looks after sick and injured animals, told Yahoo News Australia that she found Mr McGrath’s remarks “beyond comprehension”.

She noted that that there had been a number of recent driver-related wildlife attacks in Australia and questioned why Mr McGrath would make light of roadkill.

“How appalling that Senator James McGrath would be so flippant as to make jokes about native animals dying on our roads,” she said.

“I am ashamed and disillusioned by what Australia finds acceptable.”

Senator James McGrath has been contacted by Yahoo News Australia for comment.

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