Monday, December 14, 2009

Camel Cull

There are over a million feral camels running amuck in Northern Australia, and this number doubles every 8 years. Lately, due to the drought, 6,000 of the camels have started marauding the small town of Docker River - because, get this, they're thirsty. Gack! Marauders!

They say tourists come to Australia to see "the bridge (Sydney), the reef (Cairns) and the rock (Ayers Rock in Uluru, which is about 500 miles from Docker River...that's relatively close in the perspective of the mammoth dessert landscape out there).

Apparently the parched camels are breaking water mains, knocking in air conditioners and posing a threat to "children running around and wanting to play with the camels".

So Docker River got some emergency funding. They're going to coral them all into a pen outside of town, gun them down, and leave the camels' bodies to decay there in the desert. By definition, a "cull" is when a herd or group reject certain members. I'm not clear why this is being called a cull. It just seems like a slaughter to me.

This has upset a lot of people. Some people from the UK want Australia kicked out of the G-20, which I thought was more of a financial strategy group than validation that anyone is particularly keen on human, let alone animal rights.

Never let it be said that I think I have all the answers, but I'm leaning towards spending the emergency funds on first getting the camels something to drink and then handing out some good camel family planning pamphlets.

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