Queensland federal MP Bob Katter may hang up his trademark Akubra hat in protest if the iconic hat maker no longer uses Australian rabbit skins.
Akubra will now only use European skins to make its popular broad-brimmed hat, saying it had become too expensive to use local products.
It has been using a mix of local and imported skins in recent years, but is now shutting down its rabbit fur processing operation at Kempsey on the New South Wales mid north coast and will buy processed fur from overseas.
Mr Katter, the federal Member for Kennedy, said he was “hopping mad” over the decision and would consider not wearing his Akubra in protest.
“In all seriousness I will consider my options,” he said.
“It does not set a good example and it does not set me with a desire to continue to wear an Akubra hat, and that would be something that would be shared with so many other people.”
He said there would not be a person in Australia that would buy an Akubra hat because it was cheaper than some other hat.
“They buy it for style, they buy it for image, they buy it for who they are and for who they want to be,” he said.
“And it would be a terrible tragedy if one of those great icons vanishes.”
On Wednesday, Akubra chief financial officer Roy Wilkinson told ABC Rural the company was not making money and needed to cut costs to stay in business.
“When your operation is losing money, you have to make a decision in the best interests of your total operation,” he said.