Killed for being thirsty

Camels were imported to Australia as freight animals in the 1840s, used up and thrown away when they were replaced by motor vehicles.

They thrived in the wild; their numbers are now estimated at a million.

Currently humans and camels in Australia are suffering water shortages and camels are winning out. People are scared to go out and their infrastructure is being wrecked – this is clearly intolerable for the 350 residents of Docker River, many of whom feel unsafe leaving their homes. The situation is quite unambiguously a failing on the part of the Australian government in neglecting these camel colonies. And now they seem to be on the verge of another failing – they propose to drive the camels into the desert and kill them.

The way I feel about camels is the way I feel about mice. If you don’t like them using your stuff, then make your stuff mouse-proof or camel-proof. Design out the problem. If it’s “very expensive and time-consuming”, so what? Why should we expect our relationships with animals be cheap or straightforward? Give some consideration to whether it’s so easy to say who is the more invasive animal and remember who initiated this particular invasion.

And if there are too many and you can’t share (for example camels are descending greedily on re-vegetation projects) then take contraceptives. Or – OK – interfere with their fertility.

To gun them down by helicopter is indescribably savage, cruel and utterly short term. Camels are capable of great suffering. I can’t find anything scholarly, but they probably have significant higher level thinking skills – they are certainly social and have relationships. Don’t these things count for anything? I have no words to express how horrific it is that gunning them down could even be considered.


4 thoughts on “Killed for being thirsty

    • Thanks Mod. There are culls all over the world, of so-called ‘invasive species’. It speaks volumes of humans’ attitudes to animals that we could allow situations to get so bad that we have to wage war on these creatures.

    • It is indeed terrible. Gunmen are now trying to reassure the Australian and global public that there will be no suffering “So people can sort of relax”.

      How about “We will kill all homeless people quickly, they won’t feel a thing, so you can relax.”

      Homeless people aren’t an invasive species – of course they aren’t. As a society we don’t like there to be homeless people – but we would stand in the way of anybody who tried to kill them. So why do we allow unwanted animals to be killed?

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