RECENTLY, the Australian government culled 10,000 camels in drought-afflicted South Australia. These camels were brutally killed by snipers in a helicopter within five days.

According to South Australia’s environmental department, the camels were a threat to food and water reserves as camels drink too much water. They were also considered a hazard for drivers and the herds had contaminated water resources and other cultural sites. Furthermore, the authorities had also attributed 2019 being the hottest and driest on record in Australia and catastrophic bushfire to the existence of these camels.

A couple of months ago, Sindh government started a campaign to cull stray dogs as a number of rabies cases were reported across the province. However, this initiative was largely criticised as an unjustifiable resolution to the issue and the drive was termed to be ‘illegal’.

To some extent, it makes sense when such culling is practised in countries like Pakistan having limited resources and scarcity of data, but it is difficult to believe that a developed country like Australia killed thousands of animals, while Australian organisations which spend millions to protect animals are silent spectators over culling of 10,000 camels.

Therefore, animal rights defenders and the Australian government should find some other solutions to the issue they are faced with rather than killing thousands of camels based on unscientific reasons.

Mehboob Ali

Published in Dawn, January 19th, 2020