An animal welfare group has criticised an Australian senator for repeatedly sharing pictures of dead animals on Facebook.

The RSPCA Queensland labelled the photographs of dead Australian animals posted on LNP senator James McGrath’s Facebook profile “something a non-empathetic 14 year old boy would post, and not an Australian senator”.

On Saturday afternoon senator McGrath posted a picture of a dead cockatoo stuffed into a car’s roof rack with a caption “Car 1. Flock of cockatoos 0.”

Following a barrage of negative comments, the post was updated to add that McGrath had intended to draw attention to the hazards of hitting animals when driving. “To say that the post is boastful is wrong,” the edit read.

On Sunday evening Twitter user Matt Burke @matttburke posted a Twitter thread that collected a number of posts from the senator including pictures or references to dead animals.

twitter A disturbing pattern of behaviour emerging regarding @SenatorMcGrath's attitude towards wildlife.

A thread. 👇

A disturbing pattern of behaviour emerging regarding @SenatorMcGrath’s attitude towards wildlife.

A thread. 👇

Mr Burke — who works at the Labor-aligned peak union body the ACTU, but was commenting outside his official capacity — says he was confronted by what he thought was a boastful post about hitting an animal with a car.

“I thought something was off, so checked to see if there were other examples of the same behaviour, and there was.”

McGrath wrote “Suggestions for how to cook the roadkill?” on a picture of a dead animal on the front of his car.

Another post suggested McGrath had hit six kangaroos in a single night.

“Watch out prospective roadkill,” he wrote on an unrelated post about a branch Christmas party.

Two months ago he described a tractor as something that would “probably be good for running over rabbits”.

There are also multiple posts of images of mounted animal heads, which McGrath said on Facebook were part of the “dead animal zoo” in the senator’s parliamentary office in Canberra.

RSPCA Queensland’s Michael Beatty said the number of photographs of dead animals McGrath has posted is concerning.

“Accidents do happen, particularly when it’s dry, which brings kangaroos and other animals to the side of the road,” he said. “But why on earth would you take a photograph with an imbecilic caption like that?”

Senator McGrath’s office has been contacted for comment.

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