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Wed 20 Jan 2010 08:14 AM

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Saudi campaigns to save Aussie camels

Internet campaign gains momentum as owners say they will take 6,000 wild camels set for slaughter next week.

Camel-loving Saudis have launched a massive internet campaign to stop Australia from killing thousands of wild camels and instead send them to the kingdom.

The Australian government has announced plans to kill 6,000 feral camels, using use helicopters and marksmen, in a small northern town next week.

The Saudi internet campaign is gaining momentum, Arab News reports on Wednesday, with a number of camel owners volunteering to take the beasts.

Salim Al-Hajjaji, told the paper: “I own more than 80 camels but I am quite willing to receive as many more from Australia. I am now about 50 years old but I am as attached to camels as I was in my boyhood.”

Camels are not native to Australia, but were introduced in the 1840s. Now more than a million camels live there, with the number set to double in nine years, the paper reported.

Australians regard camels as a pest, trampling crops, eating food meant for sheep and cattle, and ripping up water pipes.

However, the camel is Saudi Arabia’s favourite animal and much-cherished for its ability to survive in the desert for days without food or water.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

alex 10 years ago

It's breathtaking that a country which has such total disregard for human rights should at the same time have such concern for a few wild camels.

Joe 10 years ago

What a shame that Australian Government has decided to kill 6000 camels - Camels are not native to Australia, but were introduced in the 1840s. Australians also are not native to Australia, but were introduced there as convict deportees from UK. If by some flook event or miracle, the Camels became the Government and started killing the Australians, I am sure there would be a lot of squeeks and cries from most of the Western countries.

David 10 years ago

Excellent point Alex i totally agree with you

Anon 10 years ago

Why is this so surprising? This sort of mass killing of animals happens all the time in Africa (particularly to elephants-who are by no means near extinction). Seems cruel, but what else are the Australians to do...stand by and watch it's landscape and ecosystem go to ruins. Sacrifices must be made.

mal fabian 10 years ago

Shooting up to a million camels is being openly planned , 19 million dollars already committed to fund the massacres , its insanity to see a potential billion dollar a year industry treated this way . Its insanity for people who know nothing about the Australian deserts or camels to make decisions like this , in years to come camel farming in Australia will be a billion dollar industry , that's WHY there are so many now , much of Australia is made for Camel farming , seems beef farmers are frightened people may discover how much better camels are to eat and how much more eco friendly they are compared to sheep and cattle farming