Stop Mass Killings of Wild Camels in Australia

Target: The Hon. Joe Ludwig, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Goal: Stop the hunting of camels in Australia

The Australian government has decided that the country’s wild camel population is a nuisance and that the solution to the problem is the mass killing of the animals.  Citing everything from climate change to the animal’s need for large amounts of water, the government has implemented a project that seeks to greatly reduce the camel population over the coming years.  Tell the Australian government to stop killing camels and create a plan that is both sustainable and humane.

Camels are not native to Australia.  The first animals arrived from Pakistan and India in the 1800s to be used as transportation but were rendered obsolete with the construction of railways and roads.  Rather than kill the animals, their owners abandoned them.  Today, the population of feral camels hovers around 750,000, making Australia the home of the largest wild camel population in the world.  Like many other invasive species, camels have thrived due to the lack of predators and their excellent adaptation.  But Australians lament the camels for many reasons.  They claim that camels drink too much water, are responsible for damage to plumbing, air conditioning and sacred aboriginal sites, and have led to the decline of many native plant species.  Government officials even claim that camels are a major source of emissions because of the methane they produce each year.  Their response has been to hire private contractors to shoot the camels from helicopters and leave their bodies to rot.

The Australian government’s response to these non-native “pests” can only be described as brutal and inhumane.  The Australian Feral Camel Management Project (AFCMP) states that its aim is not to eradicate the camel population, but to reduce it to levels that are sustainable.  The AFCMP has exported a few thousand camels but ultimately has decided that there is no economic incentive to do so.  The mass killing of camels has not only upset animal welfare advocates; Qataris are particularly horrified by the mass killings of an animal which has cultural significance to them.

Non-native species are a not a new problem but any solution that involves the careless slaughter of animals is neither sustainable nor humane.  The Australian government needs to reconsider the AFCMP and propose a solution that respects both ecology and animal life.


Dear The Hon. Joe Ludwig,

Non-native species present unique and difficult problems to a region’s delicate ecosystem.  Australia’s feral camels have undoubtedly adapted in ways that have caused issues for the infrastructure, wildlife and people of your country.  However, Australia is home to largest wild camel population in the world and the Australian government’s current approach to dealing with the animals through the Australian Feral Camel Management Project is an callous and unacceptably inhumane method for dealing with ecosystem management.  These animals have lived in Australia since the 1800s and have integrated themselves into the habitat they now call home.

The AFCMP’s stated mission of reducing camels to a level that is sustainable opens the door for a vague interpretation that has allowed for the state-sanctioned mass killing of camels.  One cannot cringe at the thought of a camel being hunted by a gunman in a helicopter, its body left to rot in the open.  There are other ways for dealing with these beautiful creatures.  Why give up on exporting these animals to places where they are cherished and appreciated for their cultural significance?  Even if it is more expensive, isn’t that a fair cost to preserve the life of these animals that have done nothing but try to survive?  Just as the camels have adapted to their new habitat, so must humans.  We believe that humans, native species and non-native species can be managed in a way that is sustainable and ethical.  Please reconsider the AFCMP’s approach to the camel population in Australia.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Jjron via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Ruth Rogers Ruth Rogers says:

    It would be interesting to find other petitions on this subject — on the use of camels around the world — as transportation, on how camels were in the wild.
    I do not know enough details, or the answer– except that camels might make better transportation in some areas of the world than cars, trucks and buses.

  2. This is just not right!!! Please make a change.

  3. “Non-native species are a not a new problem but any solution that involves the careless slaughter of animals is neither sustainable nor humane. The Australian government needs to reconsider the AFCMP and propose a solution that respects both ecology and animal life.”

    What’s your possition on the cane toad and the feral pig?

  4. Birgit Sihn says:

    It is not just to treat animals, which helped the humans to settle down in the country, in such a way. It would be better to honor and help them. Also the camels are living now in the country for about twohundred years and also the cows are not original. Here in Germany some time ago I also startet a petition against the camel culling in Australia and already 2000people have signed it. Save the Australian feral camel!!!
    Save the australian feral camel!!!

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