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Morrissey shouts out at Barnaby Joyce 'You are on the wrong side of history':

Our Deputy Prime Minister can't seem to stay out of stoushes with international celebrities.

First it was that whole sorry saga with Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, now Barnaby Joyce has drawn the ire – and acerbic pen – of British music legend, Morrissey.

The singer, 57, who's wrapping up a current Australian tour with a gig in Newcastle tonight, fired off a missive for animal rights group PETA, urging Joyce to put an end to Australia's live animal exports.

"The horrific cruelty in the live-export industry is heavy enough to sink a ship, yet you insist on condemning millions of animals to this fate every year," the singer wrote in the open letter.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce.

"You can deny it until you are red(der) in the face, but the industry is dying," he added in a sardonic dig, citing a decision by live exporter Elders to shut down its long-haul trade to Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia last month.

The former Smiths frontman – an avowed vegan who regularly peppers his gigs with a performance of the band's 1985 anthem Meat Is Murder, often, as an attendee at a weekend gig in Wollongongfound out, accompanied by a blood-drenched video projection of animals having their throats slit at factory farms and slaughterhouses – has long spoken out on animal rights.

He once incited outrage for comparing meat-eating to paedophilia("They are both rape, violence, murder", he wrote on fan site True To You), and insists that any venue he plays be vegetarian, at least for the night, a demand that has led to recent skirmishes with gig organisers in Los Angeles and Iceland.

Earlier this year, distressing footage of cattle being bludgeoned with sledgehammers aired on ABC's 7.30, leading to renewed local calls for a ban on live exports. The claims were rejected by Joyce, who instead urged greater self-policing within the industry.

The Smiths 1985 album, Meat Is Murder.

The Smiths 1985 album, Meat Is Murder. 

In the letter, Morrissey said that Joyce's refusal to install an animal welfare office in his department leaves him "on the wrong side of history".

"If meat is murder, live export is the slow boat to hell," he wrote.

"Please help pave the way towards a kinder future by putting the live-export industry out of its misery immediately."

Mr Joyce's office has been approached for comment.

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