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Wed 27 Jan 2010 08:00 AM

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Australian officials welcome Saudi plan to save camels

Officials 'willing to look at options', but warn scheme could be hampered by cost.

Australian officials welcomed the plan to send 6,000 wild camels to Saudi Arabia instead of culling them, but warned the scheme could be hampered by costs.

Camel-loving Saudis recently launched an internet campaign to save the feral camels that the Australian government planned to shoot and kill.

The animals are said to destroy crops, eat food meant for sheep and cattle, and rip up water pipes, and are regarded by many Australians as a pest.

“The cull is unfortunate. We’re happy to put Saudis in touch with camel exporting companies in Australia. However, it’s very expensive to bring them to Saudi Arabia,” Michael Kavanagh, of the Australian Embassy, told Arab News.

“Australians don’t want to see camels die. We’re willing to look at available options,” he said.

Kavanagh told the paper Australian officials were compiling a detailed costing to transport the camels to Saudi.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

Mohammed 10 years ago

"However, in Saudi camels are regarded as a sacred animal." Sacred? Who told you that? Sacred animals are not eaten. Linke cows for hindus. But camels are killed for meat. 'important" would be the appropriate word. The core problem is that "Saudi Arabia" is so "sterio-typed" in your magazine. Many articles appearing the mag tell that. Thats pathetic. Wakeup.. please.

Gloria 10 years ago

As an Australian it is so pleasing to see that at last something can be done to use the animals in a good way - what a waste to just shoot and leave their carcasses to rot in the desert. Pest or not, when there are so many people starving in the world it is criminal to just waste what could be a potential lifesaving food source. Not only Saudi but places like Sudan could use these animals as they are sources of meat and milk. People have suggested that the meat be frozen - but what good is that to people who have no refrigeration. Live is better. This could be a very good humanitarian project which solves a pest problem for Australia If they can be rounded up to cull they can be rounded up to transport

Mohamed Osman 10 years ago

It is very sad to see the DESERT SHIP to be shooted in Australia. Camel is regarded as one of the necessities in the Arab World. It was the only Means of transport in the yearly days and even up to now in many parts of the Africa, Arabia and Asia. It is now very valuable animal in countries, such as; Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, India and many other parts in the world. If the Australians are not happy with their animals, many countries including Saudi Arabia are ready to relocate these animals to their own countries. So, please see some other solutions rather than shooting. I, personnally ready to take part in in transporting these animals to my own country if the Australians are welling that. Saving the camel means saving the humans in the coming centuries.