Camel Commercialisation in the Goldfields Region of Western Australia: An exploratory scoping review
Purpose: This review aims to explore the benefits and barriers of the commercialisation of camels (camelus dromedaries). Included is a discussion section exploring the impacts that commercialisation might have on local communities, including Aboriginal and pastoralist communities. While this report may offer a base framework, further study is necessary to explore topics and considerations in more detail. Method: The authors utilised online databases, hand-searched grey literature, and anecdotal information via a field trip to Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. These resources were subsequently screened for suitability. Thematic analysis was conducted on the literature. Results: Seven key themes were identified in the literature; (i) camel farming, (ii) barriers, (iii) socioeconomic benefits, (iv) rural and remote Australian communities, (v) Indigenous Australians, (vi) camel culling, and (vii) camel by-products. Discussion: Current management methods consist primarily of culling. Historically, there have been some government instigated management projects, however, the responsibility for managing camel populations largely falls on pastoralists. Camel populations presently impact rural, remote and Indigenous Australian communities in Western Australia, primarily causing damage to infrastructure and affecting other livestock. The literature suggests that, for commercialisation/farming to be viable, there needs to be a defined market that pastoralists can supply. Currently there are known international markets including meat/by-product markets in China and other areas of Asia, plus Middle Eastern markets, and various halal markets globally. There are also potential domestic markets, namely for pet foods, human consumption, milk, etcetera. Conclusion: The authors found that there are economic and social benefits for the formalised commercialisation of camels in Australia, assuming the barriers are adequately addressed. The Western Australian Goldfields Esperance region stands to profit from camel processing and export, both internationally and domestically, as well as increased employment opportunities, specifically for Indigenous Australians. The authors believe that this report is best utilised as a resource for further study into areas including socioeconomic implications, cultural considerations, and long-term farming prospects.
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