Thousands of wild camels will have to be slaughtered in Australia to protect water points, natural sites, and populations.
Camels slaughtered to “protect people”
As we desperately try to save some, it is decided to take down the others: this is the paradox of the dramatic situation currently known in Australia. On the gigantic island, camels imported in the 19th century multiplied to the point that one million wild animals were found at the time of the year 2000. In 2013, a first major culling campaign had to be launched. Already, by helicopter, the wild camels had been tracked over an area of more than three million km2 in order to reduce the number to about 300,000.
This time, it is again the drought that is at issue, at the heart of dramatic fires. Due to the scarcity of water points, South Australian authorities warn that sometimes “extremely large” herds of camels in search of food and water can threaten village supplies. These wild hordes can even pose a danger to people and motorists.
Camels are considered harmful in Australia
Australia experienced its warmest and driest year in 2019, with the result of wildfires still raging. Without a natural predator, camels are considered harmful, potentially contaminating water sources and endangering native flora and fauna. “These herds exert pressure on Aboriginal communities and pastoral activities as a result of the drome’s water quest for water,” the Aboriginal spokesman said in a statement.
That’s why a five-day cull campaign will be conducted, with snipers acting from helicopters. In Australia, the state’s Department of the Environment says the drought poses “serious animal welfare issues.” “In some cases, dead animal carcasses have contaminated important water sources and cultural sites,” a ministry spokeswoman said.