Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has been labelled a serial killer on US TV by a presenter angered at plans for a camel cull in the outback.
UPDATED 11:52 AM - 23 Aug 2013

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has been labelled a serial killer on US TV by a presenter angered at plans for a camel cull in the Australian outback.

Erin Burnett, an anchor on American financial news channel CNBC, launched a stinging attack on Mr Rudd following his decision to spend AU$19 million to cull feral camels.

"There is a serial killer in Australia and we are going to put a picture up so we can see who it is," a stern-faced Burnett said.

A large photo of Rudd was then shown.

"That would be the prime minister of Australia Kevin Rudd," Burnett said. "He has launched air strikes - air strikes - against camels in the outback."

Burnett, with a stuffed toy camel sitting in front of her, broke away from her usual analysis of stock movements on Wall St to vent about the camel cull.

Meat, milk 'wasted'

She raised the issue during a segment with CNBC's colourful financial guru Jim Cramer.

Burnett said there were one million camels living wild in Australia and that the animals would be shot.

"They are slaughtering them?" Cramer, looking shocked, asked Burnett.

"They are slaughtering them," she replied.

Burnett also complained that the meat and milk from the camels would be wasted.

"Apparently there is a billion dollars of meat out there," she said.

"Are they going to do anything with it?" Cramer asked.

'Camelcide' quip

"No. They're just slaughtering them," she said.

"That's genocide. Camelcide," Cramer commented.

Burnett then told Cramer she hoped Australians would see her segment. "I hope they have this on in the morning in Australia."

Burnett is a former anchor with Bloomberg TV and a vice president at financial company Citigroup.

She has a loyal male following in the US and is a favourite of US men's magazine Maxim - in 2007 she posed for a risque photo shoot for Maxim that included a topless cover.

She also made the magazine's top 10 "Hottest News Anchor" list.