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Camel meat could become newest
Move over, beef.
Camel meat could become the newest Australian
export as early as 2012 if an Egyptian
businessman is successful with his bid to open a
slaughterhouse and meat processing plant in a
rural South Australian town.
Ashram's ambitions would not only bring camel
meat, which he says is
healthier than beef, to dinner tables
around the world, it would also reduce a
feral camel population
in the Australian outback that has caused
serious ecological problems, and create up to
300 jobs in a place that badly needs them.
meat is much better than beef...it's the lesser
fat than all the meat kingdom.
If you put beef, mutton, kangaroo, emu any meat,
then camel meat will be the lesser fat than all
of them," he said.
"Camel is a popular food in the Middle East,
North Africa and Europe, and Australia has the
resources to provide meat to people who like
introduced in 1840, mainly from India to provide
transport, there are currently more than 1
million feral camels roaming over 3 million
square km of outback Australia, breeding at a
rate that doubles their population every nine
The Australian Federal Government has provided
A$19 million ($20 million) over four years to
assist in managing feral camels, and a camel
culling program began in 2010. The animals cause
more than A$10 million a year in damage to
fragile outback ecosystems.
numbers decreases the pressure on the landscape
in dry conditions and will result in fewer
camels dying very cruelly due to starvation,
dehydration and trampling," said Jane Ferguson,
Managing Director at Ninti One Limited, a
management firm in charge of the Australian
Feral Camel Managing Project.
"Commercial camel operations need to be driven
by economic considerations and need to address
the animal welfare issues associated with
mustering and transporting wild camels over
"A LITTLE CHEWY"
El Ashram said
he applied on Friday to the Port Pirie rural
council for permission to develop what would
eventually be the largest
abbatoir in Australia, capable of
processing 100,000 animals a year.
This would also
include donkey and goat meat destined for the
Middle East, North Africa and Asia.
Wild camel feeds largely
on grasses and could be viewed as a high quality
"organic" alternative to purpose farmed stock,
according to El Ashram. Licensed musterers would
deliver the animals.
a good environmental solution and it will bring
important employment alternatives to the area,"
Port Pirie Mayor Brenton Vanstone said.
And the flavour?
El Ashram describes camel meat as similar to
beef in the shape and smell, but richer in iron
and vitamin C than both beef and lamb.
"The only thing
about camel is, if it's aged it's a bit chewy,"
he said. "But that's the same case with an old
cow." ($1 = 0.946 Australian Dollars)
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