I’m behind the Australian camels for the last 15 years. I’m a witness of very sad and happy news about the feral camels of Australia. A recent post tells the insight of the camel dairy development in the country. There is good hope, I think it will develop the camel business very sustainably. Though the development is still very slow and steady it will provide a strong base for a camel business in the future.
The Feral Camels Provide the Base
Most camel farmers in Australia start their herds by capturing wild camels from the outback or rescuing culled animals destined for an abattoir, helping control a feral population that is increasing about 8 percent a year.
AgriFutures Australia estimates the local camel milk industry produced about 180,000 liters in 2019, up from 50,000 three years ago. Globally most camel milk production is in the Middle East and North Africa but Australian farmers have a strategic advantage because our camels are free of a disease common elsewhere.
Camel’s role is incredible in its cradle of domestication and its original habitats. In the 19th Century, some camels were transported to the USA, Australia, and some other places for work and armies. After the automobile revolution, the role of the camel as a beast of burden was gradually diminished 1,2.
In Australia there are thousands of feral camels, now it’s estimated a million, roaming across Australian deserts but unfortunately considered as a pest. The government launches a project to kill camel (considering as a pest) and save the scarce water resources in region 3. Many friends from Australia and other parts of the world (including the author) raised voice to halt such killing which results in wastage of such a unique resource. The camel activists gave many good arguments/suggestions to save feral camel; a tool to adapt to the climate change and judiciously use of the scattered bushy vegetation of the region 4. Unfortunately, there are still many challenges, the main one is the weak faith and poor understanding of the present Australian government on the onset of climate change 5.
I appreciate the role of the colleagues and friends around the world who raised voice for the conservation of camel in Australia and converting camel from a useless animal to the best tool for adaptation to climate change and ensuring food security. Now my dream about camel ‘Turning from a beast of burden to a modern farm animal’ is turning true 6. Camel is Turning from a Beast of Burden to a Modern Farm Animal
In this series of articles, I am starting to share links, photographs, and views of the people around the world, who floated the idea to the sustainable use of camel for the well being of humanity. Modern science also proved the role of the camel in all aspects especially, food security, sustainability, resilience, and adaptation to climate change and human health. All friends and colleagues are warmly welcome to freely review, comment, share in this series of knowledge sharing.
As a first innovation, I hereby share pictures sent by Hannah Purs from Australia. I hope she will respond to reviewers.