AUSTRALIA'S peak cattle producer group has joined the chorus of beef industry representatives to hit back at a report released by an anti meat production international investment group.
Cattle Council of Australia said overarching claims the meat industry increases the risk of a pandemic are irresponsible and do not apply to Australian beef.
CCA chief executive officer Travis Tobin said the organisation had ignored Australia's contribution to improving global biological safety.
The Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return Initiative's report claims the majority of the world's animal agriculture firms are not only vulnerable to future zoonotic pandemics but at high risk of fostering them.
"This is an absurd overreaching statement that ignores the facts of animal farming in Australia," Mr Tobin said.
"The coronavirus pandemic is clearly a human issue and is spread by human-to-human contact.
"The authors of this report have been running a concerted campaign against factory farming which is highly limited in Australian beef production.
"Australian grassfed beef cattle producers operate to world's-best practice in maintaining on-farm biosecurity."
CCA says the grassfed cattle industry was actually the best equipped to slow the spread of a virus because of its standards and experience in biosecurity.
"The world's population is growing, and it will need food. Australian beef producers are rising to that challenge in a responsible way," Mr Tobin said.
"The Australian beef industry has a track record of raising welfare standards and sustainability and we measure our progress through the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework.
"Our industry's commitment to this even extends beyond our own shores through the world-leading Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System.
"We are also committed to working with the Federal Government to use our substantial natural resources to help improve biodiversity.
"Frankly, it is irresponsible for an investment firm to make simplistic, uninformed and wide-reaching statements like this."
COVID-19 highlighted how robust Australian beef supply chains were and how capable the industry was of continuing to supply product to domestic and international markets in the face of adversity.
Mr Tobin said that makes the industry a good investment.
"The world will keep producing meat and investing and Australian know-how will only make it stronger," he said.
"We are committed to putting food on plates, whereas the sort of information put out by the Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return Initiative will leave more people to go hungry."