Thousands of camels culled in the NT

By AAP and AG staff 10 November 2011
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Thousands of feral camels in the Northern Territory have been culled and one station owner says it’s inhumane.

THOUSANDS OF FERAL CAMELS in the Northern Territory have been culled. 

One owner of a station says the cull is cruel and the animals may have lived for hours after being shot. Ian Conway, from Kings Creek, likened the camel cull to the treatment of cattle at abattoirs in Indonesia, which recently caused a temporary ban on sales of cattle to that country.

About 5200 camels have been shot south of Alice Springs in the past week, the ABC has reported.

Ian says that in past culls he had seen signs that camels kicked around for up to a couple of hours before they died after being shot.

“I have been out to where some of these camels have been shot and I have seen kick marks on the ground, obviously where the camels have not died instantly,” he says.
“Judging by some of the impressions in the ground where the legs have kicked and so on, it has been a few minutes to a couple of hours before they have died. It brings back the same visions of what Four Corners put out recently,” he added.

Camel cull a waste of meat

Ian is also angry that the cull left animals to rot on the ground without being sold for their meat. Kings Creek station, located near Kings Canyon in central Australia, is the largest exporter of wild camels in Australia.

“If they are going to shoot them camels why not put them into a situation where they can be slaughtered humanely and somebody make some sort of revenue out of it?” he says.

The thousands of camels killed could have generated more than $1 million in sales, Ian says.

Northern Territory Chief Minister Paul Henderson says camels caused an enormous environmental problem in central Australia and could be a nuisance to landowners.

But he minister says it would not be acceptable for camels to be killed cruelly.

“In terms of culling that should absolutely be done humanely,” he told ABC radio.

There are thought to be about one million feral camels living in Australia, the descendants of animals brought into Australia with Afghan cameleers between 1840 and 1907 to help develop arid areas.