Australian Camel Industry

Australian Camel Industry Conference Paper

15th Australasian Vertebrate Pest Conference

  • Author(s): Brisbane, L
  • Secondary Author(s): Saunders, G, Lane, C
  • Published: 2011

Abstract: The Australian Camel Industry Association was established in 2009. The Association was established to represent the diverse needs of industry members and provide credible information for the commercial use of camels as a pastoral animal in Australia. The dromedary camel is the oldest pastoral animal in recorded history – its use dates back six thousand years. Camels are revered in the Middle East and North African nations, they symbolise wealth, the sustainability of life in harsh arid climates and the rich enduring culture of those regions. Camels were introduced for their climate suitability, which is the very reason why they have prevailed in the arid rangelands areas of Central Australia. Like most introduced species in Australia they are classified as feral and remain unchecked in their traverse of a continent where state jurisdictions and classifications dictate their value and management. Two models exist which highlight the camels’ value as a pastoral animal in Australia. In Queensland camels are classified under the 1915 Stock Act. Feral camels traverse the far western border regions in relatively low numbers and managed camels are widely grazed under strict biosecurity protocols. Camels in Queensland contribute to land management outcomes through weed control and increased cattle weight through the transfer of a gut bacterium from camels to cattle when co-grazed. In the APY Lands in South Australia, Indigenous communities have been provided with employment opportunities and industry in the supply of feral camels to the emerging halal and domestic camel meat markets. The transference of Islamic people into western culture has created a demand for international exports of a cultural meat. The food security issues that will arise as we head towards 2030 will dictate the need for a wide variety of protein sources that do not fit into the fiercely contended traditional European models of pastoral enterprise in Australia.

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Suggested Citation
Brisbane, L, 2011, Australian Camel Industry, Conference Paper, viewed 30 November 2023,

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