By Andy Sambidge
Gulf's iconic desert dweller blamed for wreaking environmental havoc in Australian outback.
Scientists are urging Aussies to throw another camel on the barbie to save the country's outback.
Consumers have been asked to eat more camel - the iconic desert beast of the Gulf region - as they are blamed with wreaking environmental havoc.
A three-year study has found Australia's one million-plus camel population is out of control, according to a report in the UK's Sun newspaper.
Report co-author Murray McGregor, an agribusiness lecturer, said a good way to bring down the number of camels was to eat them.
Professor McGregor is quoted as saying: "Eat a camel today, I've done it. It's beautiful meat. It's a bit like beef. It's as lean as lean, it's an excellent health food."
Camel is on the menu in Alice Springs, but Professor McGregor said it did not appear to be standard fare in metropolitan areas.
The report found Australia had the world's largest herd of wild camels.
They are inflicting major damage on fragile desert ecosystems, water sources, rare plants and animals, and indigenous sites, the report found.
Camels also made climate change worse by burping up greenhouse gases and turning various landscapes into deserts.
Would be better to set up a sustainable business exporting to countries in the world that have no food. They could use them more productively than how camel is served in Australia - as gourmet fare. Furthermore they are seen as feral and culled by the government to control herd numbers. As they are disease free they make a potential excellent business proposition - rather than see their carcasses rotting in the desert