One Hump or Two?
Mr Dann, who sells camel sausages, mince and steaks to restaurants across Australia, is at the forefront of a movement that wants to turn a “camel plague” in the outback into a lucrative and environmentally sustainable industry. The animals, which now number more than one million, are destroying fragile ecosystems and trampling all over indigenous sacred sites. They foul ancient water holes and chomp through the boughs of endangered native trees.
The problem has grown so large that the Australian government recently pledged £10 million towards developing a camel control plan, which is expected to involve shooting them from helicopters. But instead of felling thousands of the beasts and leaving their carcases to rot, Mr Dann believes that the country’s most menacing pests can be harnessed into a viable agribusiness.
“I know blokes who all their lives have meat for breakfast, lunch and tea, and they wouldn’t know the difference between camel meat and beef,” said Mr Dann. “It’s all in the mind, we eat pigs, and pigs would eat you if they were given half the chance, but camels are lovely, intelligent creatures.”
His viewpoint is supported by environmentalists, who say that lean camel meat is not only healthier than beef and lamb but that by eating a beast known as “the ship of the desert” Australians would be doing their bit for climate change and conservation.