PEAK groups representing meat processors around the world have slammed a report warning global investors off the livestock industry, claiming it was highly vulnerable to future pandemics.
The British Meat Processors Association's chief executive Nick Allen described the report as a poor attempt to disguise itself as research.
It had been written with the objective of producing anti meat production propaganda, he said.
"It deliberately sets out to conflate a number of issues in a confusing manner to try and alarm investors. It is not really worth spending time unravelling the way they have approached this report as it is merely a straightforward piece of propaganda written with a preconceived objective,'' Mr Allen said.
Australian Meat Industry Council chief executive officer Patrick Hutchinson endorsed those comments.
"Our industry has operated effectively and exceptionally well during COVID, supplying product continually both domestically and internationally," he said.
"We are the world's most reliable red meat exporter and also the highest valued.
"Those components speak to the effectiveness of our supply chains - every step of the way.
"We are strategic, efficient and reliable - that adds up to a good investment."
The North American Meat Institute's Sarah Little said it was shameful to play off consumer fears in a global public health crisis to advance an agenda.
"There is no connection between animal agriculture and COVID-19. The North American meat and poultry industry is the safest and most efficient system of meat production in the world and demand from American consumers is at an all time high," she said.
Finance experts also say the report's claim that the shares of four of the largest meat processors in the United States - JBS, Smithfield, Tyson and Sanderson Farms - were down 25pc at the end of May was incorrect.
Long-serving beef industry leaders in Australia said it was very concerning that organisations like FAIRR could make such untrue claims.
"Australian processing hardly missed a beat during the pandemic, with very strong protocols put in place in the very early days of the pandemic. It maintained massive employments right across the sector, from trucking to abattoir workers to ports and kept food not only on Australian shelves but on the shelves of customers around the world. The industry needs praising, not castigating," one said.