NSW Shooters MP under fire for cow photo

Tom Rabe

Shooters MP Phil Donato is under fire for posting a photo of a sick cow about to be shot for political gain

Mr Donato on Friday uploaded to Facebook a photograph of a farmer aiming a rifle at a sick cow lying in dirt, attached to a post criticising the NSW government's drought relief assistance.

However, the photograph was taken in Queensland four years ago and Mr Donato did not seek permission to use it, the daughter of the photographer says.

Honor Moore, a veterinary science student from Roma, posted the photograph to her Facebook page last week to protest vegetation laws recently passed by the state government.

"I am disappointed that my personal photo was used not in the context of the post it was attached to," Ms Moore said in a statement.

NSW Nationals MP John Barilaro criticised Mr Donato's use of the photograph.

"Mr Donato has clearly used this highly inflammatory and emotive image out of context, in an attempt to generate an emotional response from his audience, and in turn score cheap political points," Mr Barilaro said in a statement.

Mr Donato dismissed Mr Barilaro's criticism and said he hoped the post had given the NSW Nationals a "wake-up call" on the impact of drought on farmers.

"I keep hearing that farmers are frustrated with the lacklustre loans on offer as drought relief," the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers MP said in a statement to AAP.

"Mr Barilaro needs to spend less time worrying about Facebook and more time focusing on how to help farmers struggling with the drought."