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South Australia is killing 10,000 camels. Here's why

In a proposed move that has been condemned by animal lovers, South Australia has decided to kill camels in the drought-afflicted region

New Delhi: In a proposed move that has been condemned by animal lovers worldwide, South Australia has decided to kill camels in the drought-afflicted region to stop them from consuming too much water. Trained sharpshooters have been hired who will take aim at these desert animals from helicopters.

The killing of the animals will be undertaken in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands. Locals have often complained that the desert animals enter their lands and destroy their property in search of water sources.

Australians say camels have created a menace

“We have been stuck in stinking hot and uncomfortable conditions, feeling unwell, because the camels are coming in and knocking down fences, getting in around the houses and trying to get to water through air-conditioners,’’ Marita Baker, a board member of the APY executive, told The Australian.

Reports also said that camels are being put down over concerns about greenhouse emissions. According to The Australian, the animals release methane that is equivalent to a ton of carbon dioxide per year.

A South Australian South Australia Department of Environment and Water spokesperson echoed the local’s views, saying the increasing population of camels is a cause of concern.

'Significant damage to infrastructure because of camels'

“This has resulted in significant damage to infrastructure, danger to families and communities, increased grazing pressure across the APY lands and critical animal welfare issues as some camels die of thirst or trample each other to access water,” a spokesperson told

“In some cases, dead animals have contaminated important water sources and cultural sites,” the person added. The killing process is expected to take place over five days. After the animals are shot dead, the carcasses will be left to dry before they’re burnt. Australia brought in camels in the 19th-century form Afghanistan for carrying out construction and transportation. Their population has increased manifolds since then. There are an estimated 1.2 million camels in Australia at the moment and population control is deemed necessary by experts to maintain ecological balance.