Farmers in Australia urge cull of wild camels

Wild camels to be culled by Australian farmers due to extensive costs and damages

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Australian farmers are seeking solutions for the rapid growth of wild camels that are damaging their properties.

Wild camels were first brought to Australia in the 1800s to help carry heavy construction equipment and have been proliferating ever since.

According to locals in Alice Springs, the camels affect both nature and infrastructure. The amount of plant species camels can eat goes up to 80 percent and can destroy important parts of the infrastructure in order to find water.

Locals are asking the government to capture the wild camels or proceed to an cull undertaking in order to stop their rapid growth, with numbers believed to have reached 30,000.

“We have really big problems with the camels - a lot of damage to infrastructure which meant we could not run normal beef management programmes,” cattle farmer Lyndee Severin told Al Jazeera.

Between 2009 and 2012, local farmers took the situation into their own hands and shot thousands of camels, leaving almost 200,000 of them dead.

“I would like to see them utilised whether in tourism, racing or as meat animals. They could have put camels in yards and put a track in there and truck them out. They didn’t have to fly around in helicopters and shoot,” camel tourism operator Neil Waters said.

TRTWorld and agencies