News 215 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Aussies discuss using camels for pet food

Researchers from around Australia are meeting today in Perth to discuss a plan to turn camels into pet food.

At this meeting, camel experts will also work on a national management plan for the animal.

Managing camels
The project's leader, Glen Edwards, says it is estimated one million camels are competing with native wildlife for food and water.
"Consumptive use of camels, whether it be for human consumption through live export or even use of camels for pet food, could potentially play a role in managing camels into the future, but it's yet to be realised how large a role that will be," he said.
"I fully expect that there are parts of Australia where camels are where there will be no option but to shoot the camels to waste."

Threat to wildlife

Researchers will discuss options for managing feral camels and how to engage with groups such as pastoralists and Indigenous people on the issue. Mr Edwards says the drought has made camels an even bigger threat to wildlife and remote livelihoods.
"There are a lot of camels out there, probably around about one million I estimate nationwide and the population is doubling every eight years on average," he said.

"So what we're seeing currently, and if we don't start to turn it around and address the camel management issue, we're going to be facing this situation more and more in the future."

Related link:
Eating camels

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