Aussie Aerial Shoot Could Cull 1M Camels

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2009 7:45 PM CDT
Bruce Wood from Kenmore Hills, Queensland rides past a camel carcass on the side of the road during day three of the Simpson Desert Bike Challenge race on October 4, 2007 in Australia.    (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Australian officials are debating how to cull more than 1 million camels currently munching across the outback and irritating Aboriginals, the Independent reports. Some experts support an aerial shoot to save the desert ecosystem, but say it must be thorough; killing 80,000 would only match their birth rate. Estimated to cost $16 million, the cull could also net $1 billion in profits—especially if the world can develop a taste for camel burgers, The Australian reports.

"The world has a need for low-cost protein," says one entrepreneur who wants the government to fund camel-meat processing. "Problem solved—you've got your environmental benefit, you're employing people and you've supplied meat for aid programs in Afghanistan." As it stands, the government plans let the camel carcasses rot, and Aboriginals have not granted Aussies access to land to cart the meat away.