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  1. #1
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    Aussies urged to eat Camels

    At the Centralian Gold abattoir outside Alice Springs, business is brisk. Scores of animals are brought in each week to be slaughtered, deboned and packaged into sausages, steaks and mince.
    But the largest slabs of meat on the racks are not beef, lamb or even kangaroo, but camel. Garry Dann, who owns the business, describes camel meat as "beautiful, healthy and organic" and says demand for the product is growing every month.
    Mr Dann, who sells camel sausages, mince and steaks to restaurants across Australia, is at the forefront of a movement that wants to turn a "camel plague" in the outback into a lucrative and environmentally sustainable industry.
    The animals, which now number more than one million, are destroying fragile ecosystems and trampling all over indigenous sacred sites. They foul ancient water holes and chomp through the boughs of endangered native trees.
    Travelling in large, aggressive packs, they prevent Aboriginal women from venturing into the countryside, for fear of being attacked or trampled.
    The situation is expected to get worse, with the camel population predicted to double every eight to 10 years unless action is taken.
    The problem has grown so large that the Australian government recently pledged 10 million towards developing a camel control plan, which is expected to involve shooting them from helicopters.
    But instead of felling thousands of the beasts and leaving their carcases to rot, Mr Dann believes that the country's most menacing pests can be harnessed into a viable agribusiness.
    In Alice Springs, camel pies are on the menu in the Bojangles pub and camel meat is sold by butchers. It has even made its way into the kitchens of a few specialist restaurants in Adelaide.
    "I know blokes who all their lives have meat for breakfast, lunch and tea, and they wouldn't know the difference between camel meat and beef," said Mr Dann.
    "It's all in the mind, we eat pigs, and pigs would eat you if they were given half the chance, but camels are lovely, intelligent creatures."
    He wants to expand his business and enlist Aboriginal people to trap camels at their drinking holes.
    "Camels can handle Australia's dry conditions and they are a good source of low cholesterol protein," he said.
    His viewpoint is supported by environmentalists, who say that lean camel meat is not only healthier than beef and lamb but that by eating a beast known as "the ship of the desert" Australians would be doing their bit for climate change and conservation.
    But there are hurdles. Murray McGregor, an agribusiness lecturer, believes that the economics of a large-scale domestic camel meat industry do not yet add up.
    "There's definitely a possibility there but the economics don't stack up competing in the same market as cattle, you can carry cattle two deep and two high in a truck, but camels you can only carry one high," he said.
    "And you've got to try to catch them in some of the remotest country in the world."
    Mr McGregor also cautinoned that camel herds roam across land that belongs to Aboriginal people and the Crown and shooting the beasts there would require the owner's consent.
    Glenn Edwards, who is charged with managing the Northern Territory's camel problem, noted that entrepreneurs had spent years talking about creating a viable camel meat industry, but that little had come of it. Describing the camel plague as "a crisis", he said using camels as food would probably only ever be part of a larger solution.
    "There needs to be massive intervention and it needs to happen relatively quickly to bring the situation in hand," he told local media.
    "It would be great to see some camels being used [as food], as long as that fits in with the overall goal of managing the impact of camels."
    Mr Dann wants the oppotunity to try.
    "The market is out there and the more you put in to camel farming, the more you'll get out."
    Camels were imported into Australia from the Canary Islands in 1840.

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    Last edited by mediamanbkk; 05-08-2009 at 01:49 PM. Reason: Fixed Link problem:

  2. #2
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    Cujo's Avatar
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    Sounds like an opportunity for an export market.
    I know they eat camel in China.

  3. #3
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    one hump or two?

  4. #4
    Banned Muadib's Avatar
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    You learn something new every day... I had no idea that there were camels in Australia and in these numbers... I always thought roos ran rampant in the outback, not camels...

    I agree with the export idea... Instead of just slaughtering them and leaving them to rot, capture & slaughter them and ship the meat overseas...
    Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

  5. #5
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    This is actually the last wild camel population anywhere in the world. Trouble is we don't want them. Australia's ecosystem is too fragile for big animals.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat jandajoy's Avatar
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    Hmmm. Might pick up a bit of camel steak for dinner tonight. See what it's like. I've had stew in Africa but I've never tried steak here in the Alice.

  7. #7
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    Happyman's Avatar
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    I have had camel steaks on the barbie many times in N.Africa and it is really good .
    There was a company in Abu Dhabi a few years ago who used to import wild camels from Oz for interbreeding with their prized racing camels.
    I arranged insurance for a shipment of 200 of the buggers !!!!


  8. #8
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    Camel meat is good. They're culling them now, so bluddy well eat them.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mediamanbkk
    The problem has grown so large that the Australian government recently pledged 10 million towards developing a camel control plan
    I've got the best solution, the same as Mr Dann I believe...
    now that's a big Bar-b....you could maybe even fit the lot in there??

    Quote Originally Posted by mediamanbkk
    you can carry cattle two deep and two high in a truck, but camels you can only carry one high," he said.
    Simple solution to this one also.....cut the buggers legs off....not much meat on the lower part anyhoooo
    see, you'd save a stack of space...

    Quote Originally Posted by mediamanbkk
    "It would be great to see some camels being used [as food], as long as that fits in with the overall goal of managing the impact of camels."
    Fits in with my program....I'll eat/try anything as long as it's cooked right....

    Quote Originally Posted by Bazzy
    This is actually the last wild camel population anywhere in the world.
    Bazzy, are they indigeous to Oz...not sure can you clarify???

  10. #10
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    Camel toe sounds good to me.


  11. #11
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    ^ What a beautiful foot she has...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr R Sole
    Bazzy, are they indigeous to Oz...not sure can you clarify???
    Apparently: Camels were imported into Australia from the Canary Islands in 1840.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wallalai View Post
    Camel toe sounds good to me.

    But does Camel Toe taste like Pussy? if so throw another one on the BarB

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