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Best PracticeCamel BookAn illustrated guide to the 2012 Australian Standard, Model Code of Practiceand Standard Operating Procedures relevant to the humane control of feral camels.1Edited by: M Feldmuller, P Gee, J Pitt and L Feuerherdt22

Cover: Camels mustered on Urrumpinyi Aboriginal homelands, N.T., await transportation (Grenville Turner 2009).Rural Solutions SAGPO Box 1671Adelaide S.A. 1300 364 322Biosecurity SA33 Flemington StreetGlenside SA (08) 8303 9620Edition 1 first published May 2012.© Copyright 2012This work is copyright. Copyright is part owned by the Government of South Australia, and copyright in other parts of thiswork is owned by other parties who have consented to the inclusion of that material in this work.Apart from any use permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Commonwealth), no part of this work may be reproducedby any process without written permission from the Government of South Australia. Requests and enquiries concerningreproduction of this work should be addressed to the Executive Director of Rural Solutions SA, GPO box 1671, Adelaide,SA, 5001.Disclaimer:This publication has been compiled by Rural Solutions SA, and it contains both information and material prepared byRural Solutions SA and information and material prepared or created by third parties.The contents of this publication are for general information only and are not intended as professional advice, and RuralSolutions SA (and the Government of South Australia) make no representation, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy,reliability, currency or completeness of the information or material contained in this publication or as to their suitability forany particular purpose. Use of or reliance upon the information or material contained in this publication is at the sole riskof the user of all things, and Rural Solutions SA (and the Government of South Australia) disclaim any responsibility for anyuse of or reliance on the information or material and any liability to the user.Illustrations by George Aldridge.Reference as:Feldmuller, M., Gee, P., Pitt, J., and Feuerherdt, L. (eds) (2012). Best practice camel book. An illustrated guide to the 2012Australian Standard, Model code of practice and Standard Operating Procedures relevant to the humane control offeral camels. Edition 1. Prepared for the South Australian State Feral Camel Management Project. Rural Solutions SouthAustralia, Adelaide.2

Warning:This book contains images ofdeceased people that may cause sadness or distress toAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

ContentsForeword 6Preface 6Acknowledgements 7Introduction 9- Laws and best practice when working with camels 10- Occupational Health Safety and Welfare 12- Camel Handling Hazards 13- Body conditon, bulls in rut and cow camels in late pregnancy 18Model code of practice for the humane control of feral camels 23Standard operating procedure: ground shooting of feral camels 55Standard operating procedure: aerial shooting of feral camels 67Standard operating procedure: mustering of feral camels 71Australian Standard for the land transport of livestock 99- Part A: General Standards for the transport of livestock 101- Part B: Specific requirements for the land transport of camels 1075

ForewordPrefaceThis book is unique.This publication was developed by Ruralupon by the wide range of stakeholdersIt brings together for the first time bestpractice national guidelines relevant to feralcamel management into a well illustratedpublication.Trudy Sharp and I prepared the originaltext for the Model Code of Practice andaccompanying Standard OperatingProcedures to meet community expectationsregarding animal welfare and pest animalcontrol.The preparation and compilation ofdrawings, diagrams and photographs is auseful addition to further convey and makereadily accessible information in the text topeople unfamiliar with technical jargon or forwhom English may be a second languagebut for whom knowledge of the informationin these important documents is essential.As well as being an illustrated reference ofCode of Practice and Standard OperatingProcedures, the use of illustrations will enablethis book to be an excellent resource foreducation, community engagement andskills development around best practiceferal camel handling.I commend Rural Solutions SA, in particularMel Feldmuller for her vision and skills to bringthis book together. George Aldridge, theartist, has brought life and humour (whereappropriate) to the text thereby ensuringgreater audience engagement with thebook and its subject matter. I also commendthe South Australian State Feral CamelManagement Project and the Australian FeralCamel Management Project (supportedunder the Australian Government’s Caringfor our Country initiative) for supporting andfunding the production of this work.Solutions SA on behalf of South Australia’sState Feral Camel Management Project tomeet anticipated needs of key stakeholdersin the rangelands of Australia where feralcamels are found.The intent of this publication is to ensure thetechnical information presented in the “Modelcode of practice for the humane controlof feral camels” and the accompanyingStandard Operating Procedures for groundshooting and mustering of feral camels, and,the “Australian standards and guidelines forthe land transport of livestock” (specificallycamels), are readily understood and acteddealing with the feral camel issue.Photographs, illustrations, annotateddiagrams and captions have been added tocompliment the text and make the contentmore accessible to the target audience.An introduction has been added whichdescribes camel handling hazards, bodycondition scoring, and ways to identifybody condition of camels, camel bulls inrut and camel cows in late pregnancy. Thisinformation is provided as body condition,rutting bulls and cows in late pregnancy arereferred to in the sections that follow.the relevant Australian Standard, ModelGlen SaundersResearch LeaderNSW DPI and Invasive Animals CRC6

AcknowledgementsWe are grateful for the feedback received during thepreparation of this publication.This publication would not have been possible without thesuport and funding from both the South Australian StateFeral Camel Management Project and the AustralianFeral Camel Management Project (supported under theAustralian Government’s Caring for our Country initiative).Every effort has been made to to obtain permission foruse and to accurately reference all text and images.Information in the Introduction is adapted from texts byManefield and Tinson (2000), Dioli, M (1992), Grill, P.J.(1988) and from personal communication with Phil Gee ofRural Solutions SA, and Dr. O.J. (Taffy) Williams, veterinarysurgeon with 20 years experience working with camels.Text in other sections is taken verbatim from:• Sharp, T. & Saunders, G. (2012). Model code ofpractice for the humane control of feral camels,April 2012. New South Wales Department of PrimaryIndustries, Orange.• Sharp, T. & Saunders, G. (2012). Standard operatingprocedure for the ground shooting of feral camels(CAM001), April 2012. New South Wales Departmentof Primary Industries, Orange.• Sharp, T. & Saunders, G. (2012). Standard operatingprocedure for the aerial shooting of feral camels(CAM002), April 2012. New South Wales Departmentof Primary Industries, Orange.• Sharp, T. & Saunders, G. (2012). Standard operatingprocedure for the mustering of feral camels(CAM003), April 2012. New South Wales Departmentof Primary Industries, Orange.• Animal Health Australia (AHA) (2012). AustralianStandards and Guidelines for the Welfare of Animals— Land Transport of Livestock. Version 1.1. AHA,Canberra. are by George Aldridge, with technicaldirection and input by Rural Solutions SA camel projectstaff (Mel Feldmuller, John Pitt, Phil Gee, Leah Feuerherdt,Paul O’Leary and Annmarie Mabarrack).Photographs are from:• Grenville Turner;• Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa;• Broome Camel Safaris;• Australian Desert Expeditions;• Peter Watkins;• SA Dept of Environment and Natural Resources;• Central Australian Camel Industry Association Inc.;• South Australian Museum.The camel density map on page 28 is from:• Edwards GP, Zeng B, Saalfeld WK, Vaarzon-MorelP, McGregor, MJ. (2008) Managing the impactsof feral camels in Australia: a new way of doingbusiness. DKCRC Research Report. 47. would like to thank the many people who have helped put this book together.


Laws and best practicewhen working with camelsThe Australian community has expectations and standardsabout what is acceptable behaviour and treatment ofboth workers and animals.These community expectations are written into variousCommonwealth, State and Territory Acts (such as: AnimalWelfare Acts, Occupational Health, Safety and WelfareActs, Firearms Acts etc., see p50 for more detail), as wellas Australian Standards (AS), Codes of Practice (COP) andStandard Operating Procedures (SOP).These documents describe current best practice and coverthe health, safety and welfare of workers, and the welfareof all animals (including feral animals). There are heavypenalties, including imprisonment for not following bestpractice.As well as it being the law, there are economic and moralreasons to follow best practice. Injury to workers results indowntime and costs to the worker and employer. Bruised orotherwise injured animals may be rejected or downgradedat sale or abattoir.There are best practice laws to be followed when working with camels.Best practice is written into the Commonwealth, State and Territory Acts, AustralianStandards, Codes of Practice and Standard Operating Procedures.10“Best practice” is to be followed when working with camels.

There are best practice ways to do this camel stuff.You’ve got to know them and follow them.They’re about keeping you, your workmates and camelssafe from unnecessary harm and suffering.11There are heavy penalties, including imprisonment, for not following best practice.

Occupational Health Safety and WelfareYou cannot do your best work if you think your workplace isdangerous, or if you do not know safe ways of working.Every employer has a moral and legal responsibility to makesure the workplace is safe, and every employee has a moraland legal responsibility to help employers achieve this.12Everyone is responsible for workplace health and safety.

Camel Handling HazardsThe one-humped (dromedary) camel is native to parts ofAsia and Africa. In these countries they are preyed uponby predators such as wolves, Caspian tigers and lions. InAustralia, the only natural predator of the camel is thedingo which can attack newly born camel calves or veryyoung camels.The instinct of camels to protect themselves from real orimagined predators is strong and innate.Feral camels are not used to being confined or to closehuman contact. If they cannot escape or if they feeltrapped, camels in fear, may try to protect themselves bybiting, kicking, striking, crushing or charging the imaginedor real threat. Throwing up their cud can also be a fearresponse.The camel’s large size, power, horny toes, large mouth anddental structure means being crushed, kicked or bitten bya camel can easily cause injury (and potentially death) tohumans.Bull camels in full rut and new mothers with newborn calvesmay behave more unpredictably than other camels.Feral camels are not used to being confined or having close humancontact. Captured feral camels may, out of fear, try to protectthemselves from handlers and this can make them dangerous.13Be careful. Camels may kick, strike, lunge, bite, crush, charge, and spray cud when frightened.

Kicking and strikingCamels can kick forcefully with both their front and backlegs. With their back legs they can kick in a wide swingingarc from the front shoulder to almost directly behind them(even when sitting). With their front legs they can also strikeforwards, though not as forcefully as for kicks from their backlegs. Front leg striking is usually as part of a rearing jumpingaction. This action is considered by many camel handlersto be more dangerous than rear leg kicking. Kicking andstriking can be very swift and is all the more dangerousbecause of the 2 horny toes on the foot pad.(Adapted from Manefield and Tinson 2000)14Camels can kick hard with front and back legs. Be careful and keep a safe distance.

Crushing and chargingCamels are large animals. They can weigh up to 1000 kg.Despite their size they can move surprisingly quickly andunpredictably.Be careful when working with camels not to be caughtbetween the camel and a hard place such as yard rails,other camels or the ground.Generally camels won’t hurt you intentionally, however,some camels have been known to charge across a yard ata particular person, avoiding others on the way. Chargingmay be a strategy of new mothers to protect their newborncalves, or of bulls in rut to chase away rival bulls.(Adapted from Manefield and Tinson 2000)15Be careful when working with camels not to be caught between a camel and a hard place.

Lunging and bitingCamels often lunge without biting. They do this in an attemptto scare off potential threats. However, camels may actuallybite if feeling pressured or if they are particularly aggressive.Camel bites can cause a lot of damage due to the numberand type of teeth. The camel has 22 milk teeth and 32permanent teeth. It is different to ruminants in having twofront teeth in the upper jaw. Camels also have a pair ofcanine (dog teeth) in both the upper and lower jaws whichare used to crush woody plants for food.There are documented reports of human skulls being crushedand arms being severed. Apart from physical damage,bites may lead to infection and should be regarded aspotentially serious if the bite breaks the skin.“Because yarded wild camels may attempt to bite anyhuman part they can reach over the top rail, it should be thepractice of personnel to always wear a hat when handlingsuch animals. The hat will most usually slide free with thebite. If the hat is of the hard safety type then so much thebetter.” (Manefield and Tinson 2000, p24)16Camels may bite if they feel threatened or if they areparticularly aggressive. The head of handlers can be easy forcamels to reach. Bites can cause a lot of damage and couldbecome infected if the skin is broken.Wearing a hat when handling feral camels can help protect the head from camel bites.

Spraying cudCamels digest food similar to cattle, with some differences.Like cattle, they regurgitate and re-chew their food until it isground to very small pieces. However, they have a differentstomach structure to cattle which makes them better atgetting protein and energy out of poor quality feed (Fowler2010). The regurgitated food is known as “cud”. Camelsspend many hours a day chewing their cud. Nervous orfrightened camels may sometimes spray or expel this cudforcefully over a handler.Being sprayed with cud is not dangerous but it is unpleasant.It is not performed in the sense of aiming spit. It occurswhen a camel is indignant or upset about being physicallyhandled and it quite purposefully expels a mouthful of cudto discourage the handler from continuing with the handlingactivity. It may help, before attempting any procedurethat involves getting close to a camel, to allow the cameltime to re-swallow any cud it has in it’s mouth then movein smartly to carry out the task. (Gee 2012; Manefield andTinson 2000)Nervous or upset camels might deliberately spray cud to try and stopa handler from getting really close. It might help to wait till the camelhas swallowed any cud in its mouth before getting close.17A camel may spray cud to put off a handler. This is not dangerous, but it is unpleasant.

Body condition, bulls in rut and cow camels inlate pregnancyAssessing body condition using hump scoresDuring the breeding season both males andthe head arched back; and, mark their scentMating induces ovulation or heat (the releaseThe camel’s hump can be used to estimatea camel’s general body condition. “Humpscores” of 0-5 are used. Camels with humpscores of 0 or 1 are in poor condition. Camelswith a hump score of 5 are excessively fat andthey don’t tolerate much physical activityand may find long distance transport stressful.Camels for the abattoir should have humpscores of 3 or 4 (Williams 2002).Puberty and sexual maturityBull (male) camels reach puberty at ~3 yearsof age, but are not considered sexually matureuntil ~6-8 years of age. Cow (female) camelscan reach puberty at ~ 1½-2 years of age, andare considered sexually mature at ~4-6 yearsof age. Their ability to get pregnant appearsto be affected by seasonal conditions. Aftera run of very good seasons more than half ofAustralian feral camel cows tested were foundto be pregnant at or before 2 years of age. Indrought times pregnancy is generally not seenin feral camels until they are ~4 years of age.Breeding behaviourCamels are seasonal breeders showing greatersexual activity and an urge to mate generallybetween May and October, although somebreeding does occur outside of this time.females become restless which can makethem more difficult to handle.Bull camels in rutBull camels are said to be in “rut” when theyshow particular physiological, physical andbehavioural signs.In a mixed herd of male and female camels,only one male will do the mating. If othermales come into rut, the aggressiveness of thisdominant bull will overpower the sexual desireof weaker males in the herd. In most casesyounger bulls have little chance of mating.Bulls in rut can often (but not always) be visuallyidentified by: enlarged testicles; a swollenforehead (caused by the swelling of occipitalglands in the forehead); and, from dark stainsdown the back of the neck caused by a darkoily secretion made by the occipital glands.This substance is secreted from gland openingson the back of the upper neck, behind theears (i.e. at the “poll” position). This secretioncontains hormones and pheromones whichseem to trigger sexual interest in cows.Sexually excited rutting bulls behave in verydistinctive and visual ways: they make a deepgurgling sound; blow out a pink sac (calledthe “dulaa”) from the roof of the mouth withby flicking urine off their urine soaked tail andrubbing their occipital gland secretions onthemselves, cows, bushes, soil etc.Bulls in full rut show no fear, and are morearrogant and aggressive, which can makethem quite dangerous.During rut, a bull is usually too agitated to feed.The length of an individual bull’s rut varies fromone to four months, depending on the bull’shealth, strength, hormonal condition and abilityto dominate and fight off other bulls. Not allbulls rut at the same time. As one bull’s rut ends,another bull may come into rut and take overany cows in the herd that are not yet pregnant.Cow camelsCows which are ready to mate will make agurgling sound similar to that made by ruttingbulls.About half of sexually receptive cows will sitdown (“couch” or “cush”) automatically whenapproached by an interested bull. This is so thebull can mount her easily. Other cows may beforced by the bull to couch. Mating occurswith the bull kneeling over the couched cowand generally lasts for a few minutes, but canlast for up to an hour.of a fertile egg). Heat lasts three to four days,and the average cycle lasts 27 days.PregnancyWhen cows become pregnant, they no longershow interest in mating and will try to keepsexually interested bulls away by biting.Pregnant females show a “tail up reflex” whenapproached by bulls. They do this within 2weeks of getting pregnant. The tail up reflexcan be a tail held just above horizontal to analmost vertical tail exhibiting tremor (shakes).The tail up reflex occurs throughout pregnancyand disappears within a few hours followingbirth or abortion. It should be noted however,that the tail up reflex can easily be confusedwith a tail up response to fear. The differencesare subtle.The length of pregnancy ranges between 364days (12 months) and 419 days (14 months).A cow generally gives birth to a single youngwhich is weaned at about 18 months. The last 4weeks of pregnancy prior to calving is referredto as “late pregnancy”.Different cows will show signs of pregnancy tovarying degrees. The more reliable sign of latepregnancy is a tight, swollen udder.18Be able to identify camels in poor condition, bulls in rut, and cow camels in late pregnancy - they need careful handling.(Text adapted from Manefield and Tinson 2000; Williams 2002; Gill 1992; Dr O. J. Williams 2002 and 2012 (personal communications); and, P. Gee 2012 (personal communications).

Body condition and camel hump scoresShoulderRump20%10%0Chest depthShoulderRump20%10%0Chest depthShoulderRump20%10%0Chest depthScore 0Camel is in very poor condition.The camel looks like skin on bones. The camel has nohump, all ribs and back bones are visible, there is a verydeep hollow at the base of the tail, and there are easilyseen hollows in the camel’s sides.Score 1Camel is in poor condition.There is little or no fat in the hump and the hump may beleaning to one side.Score 2Hump with some development. Hump rising ~5% higherthan chest depth. Hump may be leaning to one side.ShoulderRump20%10%0Chest depthShoulderRump20%10%0Chest depthShoulderRump20%10%0Chest depthScore 3Camel is generally considered suitable for abattoir. Humpwith good development. Hump rises to 10% higher thanchest depth. Hump is still sculptured inwards on both sidesand still fits over the chest and abdominal area.Score 4Camel is generally considered suitable for abattoir. Humpfully developed. Hump rises to 15% higher than chestdepth. Hump rounded outwards on both sides and runsfrom the shoulder to the rump.Score 5Camel is considered to be excessively fat.Hump over-extended and rises more than 15% higherthan chest or the hump is so full that it is rounded on thesides like a semi circle.19Camels in poor condition have a hump score of 0 or 1.(Text taken from PISC 2006. Images adapted from Faye et al. 2001)

Identifying rutting bullsMale (bull camel)The “dulaa” is a saclike pouch of the softpalate. It can be inflated and gargledthrough by male camels in rut.Swollen forehead due toswollen active occipital glandsFemale (cow camel)The occipital glandsare under the skin inthe forehead, abovethe eyes of bull camels.These glands swell inbulls in rut.Active occipital glandsrelease a dark, strongsmelling substancefrom openings on theback of the neck,behind the ears. Upto 1 / ³ of the back ofthe neck may endup covered with thissubstance.Bulls in rut froth at the mouth, make gurgling noises, and blow out a large pink sac(“dulaa”) from the mouth. The dulaa is a pouch of skin of the soft palate on the roof of themouth. It is inflated by closing the nostrils, stretching the neck back and blowing lung airforcibly through it.There are 2 occipital glands in the forehead of bull camels. They become active andswell in rutting bulls. The glands secrete a dark, acrid smelling secretion from openings onthe back of the neck behind the ears. This secretion contains pheromones and hormones(e.g. androgen) and appears to attract cow camels.Dark stain on theback from urineRear legs spread and back arched sothe tail can be soaked more easily withurine. The urine soaked tail is then flickedto spread the camel’s scent onto thecamel’s back and surroundings.Dark stain onwither fromrubbing glandsecretions here.Gland secretionsare rubbed on tosoil and bushes tospread scent.The size of the testiclesincreases in rutting bulls.Rutting bulls spread their scent by flicking urine onto their back and surroundings with theirtail. The tail is more easily soaked with urine when the rear legs are spread wide and theback is arched. This brings the tail as far forward as possible. The urine of the rutting bullhas high testosterone levels and contains some pheromones.20Rutting bulls also spread their scent by rubbing the secretion from the occipital glands onto themselves (e.g. on to the front of their withers, leaving a dark stain), as well as ontocows, bushes and soil.Be able to identify bulls in rut and what brings on rut. Rutting bulls need to be handled differently to other camels.(Text adapted from Manefield and Tinson 2000. Images adapted from Dioli (2007) and Williams (2002))

Identifying cow camels in late pregnancyIn first time calversthe udder goesfrom tight and swollenin the last 4 weeks ofpregnancyCow may or maynot show a largeabdomen that swingsfrom side to side whenthe camel moves.The easiest and most reliable way to identify a cow camel in the last month of pregnancyis by their large, full and tight udder. In first time calvers the udder swells in the last monthof pregnancy from being almost unnoticeable to about the size of half an AFL football cutlengthwise.Late pregnancy cows often have a very large abdomen which swings from side to sidewhen the cow camel moves, but some do not.The vulvabecomes looseand swollen inthe last 1-2 weeksbefore givingbirth...... and sometimesa depression canbe seen that runsalong the spine upfrom the tail.In cows that havecalved before theudder goes fromloose and tight and swollenin the last 4 weeks ofpregnancyIn cows that have calved before, the udder swells in the last month from being loose andfloppy and about ¼ the size of an AFL football, to being tight, and swollen and between²/ ³and 1½ times the size of an AFL football.In the last 1-2 weeks of pregnancy, the vulva becomes very obviously swollen and loosein preparation for giving birth. The sacrosciatic ligament also becomes very relaxed and adepression may be seen that runs along the spine leading up from the tail. When calvingis very close, the pregnant cow becomes restless, the tail is held horizontally almostcontinuously, and if possible the cow will leave the group to be alone.21The most reliable way to identify cow camels in late pregnancy is from their tight, swollen udder.(Text adapted from personal communications with Dr. O.J. Williams)

ReferencesDioli, M. (2007) Pictorial Guide to Traditional Management, Husbandry and Diseases of theOne-Humped Camel. Photographic CD-ROM with 1000 captioned pictures. ISBN 978-82-303-0840-0Faye, B., Bengoumi, M., Cleradin, A., Tabarani, A., Chillard, Y. (2001) Body condition score indromedary camel: A tool for management of reproduction. Emirates Journal of Food andAgriculture, Vol 13 (1) 01-06., M.E. (2010) Medicine and Surgery of Camelids, 3rd Edition. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, ISBN:081380616XGee, P. (2012) Personal CommunicationsGrill, P.J. (1988) Introducing the Camel. Basic Camel Keeping for the Beginner. UN EnvironmentProgram.Manefield, G.W. and Tinson, A.H. (2000). Camels - A Compendium. The T.G. Hungerford VadeMecum Series for Domestic Animals. Series C, No 22. University of Sydney PostgraduateFoundation in Veterinary Science, Sydney.Williams, O.J. (2002). Capture and handling of camels destined for the abattoir. 2 nd Edition. CentralAustralian Camels Industry Association Inc. Alice Springs, NT.Williams, O.J. (2012) Personal Communications22

Model code of practicefor the humane control offeral camels23A

IntroductionThe aim of this code of practice is to provide informationand guidance to vertebrate pest managers responsible forthe control of feral camels. It includes advice on how tochoose the most humane, target specific, cost effectiveand efficacious technique for reducing the negativeimpact of feral camels.This code of practice (COP) is adopted nationally.Jurisdictions can apply more stringent requirements as longas they retain the principles set out in these codes. TheCOP should only be used subject to the applicable legalrequirements (including OH&S) operating in the relevantjurisdiction.24This model code of practice applies to everyone in Australia who handles feral camels.

This model code of practice gives advice on choosing the most humane and appropriate control method(s).25

BackgroundThere is an expectation that animal sufferingassociated with pest management beminimised. The most humane methods thatwill achieve the control programs’ aims mustbe used. Consideration of animal sufferingshould occur regardless of the status givento a particular pest species or the extentof the damage or impact created by thatpest. While the ecological and economicrationales for the control of pests such as theferal camel are frequently documented, littleattention has been paid to the developmentof an ethical justification as to how thesepests are controlled. An ethical approachto pest control requires recognition ofand attention to the welfare of all animalsaffected directly or indirectly by controlprograms. Ensuring such approaches areuniformly applied as management practicesrequires the development of agreedStandard Operating Procedures (SOPs) forpest animal control. These SOPs are writtenin a way which describes the proceduresinvolved for each control technique asapplied to each of the major pest animalspecies. While SOPs address animal welfareissues applicable to each technique, aCode of Practice (COP) is also requiredwhich brings together these procedures intoa document which also specifies humanecontrol strategies and their implementation.COPs encompass all aspects of controlling apest animal species. This includes aspects ofbest practice principles, relevant biologicalinformation, guidance on choosing the mosthumane and appropriate control techniqueand how to most effectively implementmanagement programs.This code is based on current knowledgeand experience in the area of feral camelcontrol and will be revised as required totake into account advances in knowledgeand development of new control techniquesand strategies.26Standard Operating Procedures explain how to carry out particular control methods to best practice standards.

Definitions and TermsPest animal – native or introduced, wild orferal, non-human species of animal thatis currently troublesome locally, or over awide area, to one or more persons, either bybeing a health hazard, a general nuisance,or by destroying food, fibre, or naturalresources (Koehler, 1964).Welfare – an animals’ state as regards itsattempts to cope with its environment(Broom, 1999). Welfare includes the extentof any difficulty in coping or any failure tocope; it is a characteristic of an individualat a particular time and can range fromvery good to very poor. Pain and sufferingare important aspects of poor welfare,whereas good welfare is present whenthe nutritional, environmental, health,behavioural and mental needs of animalsare met. When welfare is good suffering isabsent (Littin et al., 2004).Humane Vertebrate Pest Animal Control –the development and selection of feasiblecontrol programs and techniques thatavoid or minimise pain, suffering and distressto target and non-target animals (RSPCA,2004).Best Practice Management – a structuredand consistent approach to themanagement of vertebrate pests in anattempt to achieve enduring and costeffectiveoutcomes. ‘Best practice’ isdefined as the best practice agreed at aparticular time following consideration ofscientific information and accumulatedexperience (Braysher, 1993).27All animals, including pest animals, must be handled in a way that avoids or causes the least possible pain or suffering.

Best Practice Pest ManagementFrom an animal welfare perspective, it ishighly desirable that pest control programsaffect a minimum number of individuals andthat effort is sustained so that pest densitiesalways remain at a low level. Over the lastdecade, the approach to managing pestanimals has changed. Rather than focussingon killing as many pests as possible, it isnow realised that like most other aspectsof agriculture or nature conservation, pestmanagement needs to be carefully plannedand coordinated. Pest animal control is justone aspect of an integrated approach tothe management of production and naturalresource systems. Most pests are highlymobile and can readily replace those thatare killed in control programs. Unless actionsare well planned and coordinated across anarea, individual control programs are unlikelyto have a lasting effect. When planning pestmanagement, there are some importantsteps that should be considered (afterBraysher & Saunders, 2002).1. What is the trigger to undertake pestanimal management? Is there a communityor political pressure for action on pests andan expectation that pest animals shouldbe controlled? Pest control is unlikely tobe effective unless there is strong local orpolitical will to take action and commit thenecessary resources.2. Who is the key group to take responsibilityfor bringing together those individuals andgroups that have a key interest in dealingwith the pest issue?3. What is the problem? In the past the pestwas usually seen as the problem. Hence thesolution was to kill as many pests as possible.We now know that the situation is morecomplex. First, determine what the problemis. For example, it may be damage to nativetrees, or damage to stock fences or wateringpoints, particularly during drought. Severalfactors impact on each of these problemsand control of pests are often only part ofthe solution. The following questions thenhelp define the problem:• Who has the problem?• Where is the problem?• How severe is the problem?• Will the problem change with time?4. Identify and describe the area of concern.Sometimes it helps to remove agency andproperty boundaries so that the problem canbe viewed without the tendency to pointblame at individuals; groups or agencies.Property and agency boundaries can beadded later once agreement is reached onthe best approach.5. Trying to deal with the complexity ofa very large area can be daunting so itoften helps to break the area into smallermanagement units for planning. Thesesmaller units may be determined by waterbodies, mountain ranges, fences, vegetationthat is unsuitable for a particular pest or othersuitable boundaries that managers can workto. While it is best to work to boundaries thatrestrict the movement of pests, this may notbe practicable and jurisdictional boundaries,for example, the border of a Landcare group,may have to be used in combination withphysical boundaries. Once the managementunits are identified:28There are some important points to consider when making a plan to manage pests.

• Identify as best you can, the pestanimal distribution and abundancein each management unit.• Estimate as far as is practicable, thedamage caused by the pest or peststo production and to conservation.6. Gather and assess other relevantplanning documents such as CatchmentManagement Plans, Recovery Plansfor threatened species and PropertyManagement Plans. Identify any keyconstraints that may prevent the plan beingput into operation and identify all the keystakeholders.7. Develop the most appropriatepest management plans for each of themanagement units.Implementing effective and humanepest control programs requires a basicunderstanding of the ecology and biology ofthe targeted pest species and in some casesthose species affected directly (non-targets)or indirectly (prey species) by a controlprogram. It is also essential to understand theimpact created by the pest i.e. what is theproblem? Managers should take the time tomake themselves aware of such informationby reading the recommended texts at theend of this code of practice. A brief summaryof the biology, ecology and impacts of feralcamels follows. This information is extractedfrom the report ‘Overview of the project -Cross-jurisdictional management of feralcamels to protect NRM and cultural values’by Edwards et al. (2008) and also from afact sheet titled ‘The feral camel (Camelusdromedarius)’ by the Natural Heritage Trust,Department of Environment and Heritage(2004).29Develop the best pest management plan for each area to be managed.

Feral Camel FactsThe camel played an important role in thedevelopment of central Australia in both thenineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Thereplacement of the camel by the motor vehiclein the early twentieth century resulted in largenumbers of animals being released into thewild and the subsequent establishment of aferal population in arid Australia. Monitoring ofAustralia’s camel population was haphazardat best until the 1980s. Since that time, anumber of systematic aerial surveys of cameldistribution and abundance have beencarried out across substantial areas of thecamel’s distribution. The current distribution ofthe camel covers much of arid Australia. Up to50% of Australia’s rangelands are reported ashaving camels present, with the arid regions ofWA, SA, the NT, and parts of Qld being affected.The feral camel population in Australia todayis estimated to be approximately one millionwith numbers increasing at a rate of around8% per year.Camels carrying wool bales, Strzelecki Track, 1928. (Photo AA357, South Australian Museum Archives)30 Desert Knowledge CRC Report 47 (2008), p27.There are about one million feral camels in Australia and numbers are increasing.

Feral camels wander widely according to conditions, sometimes covering 70 kilometres in aday. In summer, they are usually found in bushland and sandplain country that offers foodand shelter from the sun, but in winter they move to salt lakes and salt marshes.Camels in East Simpson Desert (Department of Environment and Natural Resources 2010)Camels in East Simpson Desert (Department of Environment and Natural Resources 2010)Camels can travel up to 70km a day.They can live in different types of desert country such asbushland, sand dune country, salt lakes and salt marshes.31Camels can walk long distances and can be found in different desert landscapes depending on conditions.

As well as grazing on grass, feral camels browse on vegetation as high as 3.5 metres abovethe ground. They eat most plant material, including fresh grasses and shrubs, preferringroughage to pasture that has introduced grasses or has been fertilised. Camels appearto eat half to ¾ that of cattle in terms of dry matter as a percentage of body weight. Theexpected dry matter intake for a 450kg camel is ~7.5kg of dry matter per day (Manefieldand Tinson 2000). It is difficult to estimate a camel’s daily intake of fresh vegetation in kg asthis depends on the moisture and nutrient content of the feed.Camels have a high need for salt and they eat salty plants, even thorny, bitter or toxicspecies that are avoided by other herbivores.Camels eat most plant material, andthey need a lot of salt in their diet.32Camels eat from plants up to 3.5 metres above the ground.Camels eat salty, thorny, bitter andpoisonous plants that other animals avoid.Camels browse high and low, eat most plant material, and need a lot of salt.

At times when forage is green and moist, feral camels gainall the water they need from their food and do not requiredrinking water. If water is available in summer, camels willdrink regularly, usually at dawn. In extreme drought theyneed access to waterholes.Contrary to legend, the hump is mostly fat, a store of energyrather than water.Camels don’t need to drink water if they can eat enough plantmaterial that is green and has lots of water in it, such as parakeelya.33Feral camels can survive without drinking water if they can eat enough green, succulent feed.

SummerWinterThe feral camel lives in non-territorialgroups of three main kinds: year-roundgroups of bulls (males); summer groupsof cows (females) and calves; and winterbreeding groups that include a maturebull and several cows and their calves.Only old bulls tend to be solitary. Largerherds may form in summer when groupsbull groupcongregate. During the breeding season,from May to October, rutting males havea herd of many cows, which they defendagainst advances from other bulls.Pregnancy lasts about 13 months and acow gives birth to a single young, whichbull joins cowgroupdominant bullpushes out subadultmales which go tojoin bachelor groupsolder bulls maylive on their ownis weaned at about 18 months. Captivecamels can live for as long as 50 yearsand breed for at least 30 years.core cow groupwith calvesbull herds cow groupcows in latepregnancyleave thegroup togive birth ontheir own34Camels in the wild live in herds.

SummerLegendMaleadultsubadultcalfbull leaves the cowgroup voluntarilyyounger or weakerbulls herd cowgroup temporarilyFemaleadultsubadultcalfSize of symbol correspondsto respective age classcows with youngcalves form newcore groupFigure adapted from figure by Dorges and Heucke in Williams,O.J. (2002). Capture and handling of camels destined forthe abattoir. 2nd Edition. Central Australian Camels IndustryAssociation Inc. Alice Springs, NT.The social structure of wild camel herds changes with the seasons.35

Feral Camel ImpactThe harmful impacts of feral camels fall into three maincategories: economic, environmental, and social/cultural.Negative economic impacts of feral camels mainly includedirect control and management costs, impacts on livestockproduction through camels competing with stock forfood and other resources, damage of infrastructure, anddamage to people and vehicles due to collisions.Camels can compete with stock forfood, water and shelter.People can be injured and vehiclesdamaged in accidents with camels.Managing and controlling feral camels can cost money.36Feral camels can cost you money.

Camels can damage water tanks and water pumps.Camels can damage fencesand water troughs.Camels looking for water candamage air conditioners.37

Negative environmental impacts of feral camels includedamage to vegetation through feeding behaviour andsome trampling; suppression of recruitment in some plantspecies; damage to wetlands through fouling, trampling,and sedimentation; and competition with native animalsfor food and shelter.Camels can damage plants.There are some plants camels really like to eat such asquandong, bush plum, curly pod wattle. They can eat theseuntil they are all gone and make some local plants extinct.Camels also trample plants and seedlings by walking or lyingdown on them, and break branches to reach feed higher up.Camels can compete with native animals for food, water and shelter.38Feral camels can damage the environment.

Camels can damage the homes of other animals.Camels can damage water places.Camels can drink all the water at waterholes leaving none for other animals or humans (a dehydrated camel can drink 200L in 3 minutes). Dead camels and cameldroppings make the water unhealthy. Camels can make waterholes boggy, make the water muddy and change where the water would have normally gone.39Feral camels can damage plants, water places and homes of native animals.

Feral camels have significant negative impacts on thesocial/cultural values of Aboriginal people. Camelsdamage sites, such as waterholes, that have culturalsignificance to Aboriginal people; they destroy bush tuckerresources, reduce people’s enjoyment of natural areas,create dangerous driving conditions, and cause a generalnuisance in residential areas.Camels can be scary and stop people having fun in the bush.40Camels can damage places of cultural significance.Feral camels can damage social and cultural sites.Camels can destroy bush tucker plants.

In addition, camels could also potentially be involvedin the spread of exotic diseases such as bluetongue,Rinderpest, Rift valley fever, surra (trypanosomiasis), andbovine tuberculosis if outbreaks of these diseases occurredin Australia.Camels can make driving more dangerous.Camel droppings and dead camels in water holes can makepeople sick if they drink, or swim in, the polluted water.Camels can be a general nuisance where people live.They go through bins, hang around houses and scare people.Feral camels can be a nuisance to humans.41

Feral camels can also have both positive economic andenvironmental impacts. Landholders can derive economicbenefit from feral camels by using their meat for domesticconsumption or by selling them for other uses that includespet meat, leather and export meat products.Small numbers of feral camels are also used in the tourism industry.Tourist camel rides, Cable Beach, WA (Broome Camel Safaris 2010)Camel meat and products made from camel leather and wool (Central Australian Camel IndustryAssociation Inc. 2006)42Scientific and ecological surveys using camels as transport (Australian Desert Expeditions 2007)Feral camels can be used for meat, leather, wool, milk, and tourism, and are used in some places to control woody weeds.

Many Aboriginal people believe that feral camels should beused to provide benefits to local people, including incomeand jobs. Camels have also been used for woody weedcontrol in Queensland.Setting up portable yards, Urrumpinyi Aboriginalhomelands, N.T. (Grenville Turner 2010)Erecting Hessian wing fence. UrrumpinyiAboriginal homelands, N.T. (Grenville Turner 2010)Aboriginal stockmen, Urrumpinyi Aboriginal homelands, N.T. (Grenville Turner 2009)Martu rangers with DAFWA staff attaching asatellite tracking collar, near Parnngurr, W.A.(Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa 2011)Martu rangers at firearm training, Newman RifleRange, W.A. (Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa 2011)43Many Aboriginal people believe feral camels should be used to provide jobs and income.

Feral Camel Control StrategiesThe control of feral camels is challengingbecause of their wide-spread distribution,high mobility, low density and low requirementfor water. At present, management mostlyinvolves periodic aerial culling and livecapture by mustering or trapping at water.Ground-based shooting and exclusionfencing are also used. However, noneof these methods have had a significantimpact on the overall population of camels.Reducing the density of camels, particularlyat key assets, is an important strategy toachieve damage mitigation. Since camelshave a relatively slow rate of populationincrease the best approach for reducingpopulation density is to target adult survivalnot reproductive output.Exclusion fencing is useful for protecting keyrisk areas but does not reduce populations.It is expensive and limited in its application.Aerial shooting and trapping at water pointsis effective during drought when camelsare congregating near water points but isless effective at other times. The captureand removal of feral camels can providean income for land managers, particularlyAboriginal people living in isolatedcommunities. However it is generally onlyeconomical to harvest feral camels whenthey have congregated in accessible areasor where they are at relatively high densities.Various stakeholders can have divergentand sometimes conflicting views regardingpest management. For example, somestakeholders see feral camels as aresource while others see them as a pest.Consequently, landscape scale controlstrategies may need to address a rangeof views and be flexible in achieving thedesired outcomes. In the case of feral camelcontrol, all removal activities that are legal,humane and cost effective are consideredas valid options and the final selection ofremoval activity remains the responsibilityof the various landholders.By necessity, any control effort should besustained. The best strategy is to develop aplan which maximizes the effect of controloperations and reduces the need to culllarge numbers of animals on a regular basis.There are three essential requirements for apest control plan – necessity, effectivenessand humaneness.44The best pest management plan is one that reduces the need to shoot large numbers of camels regularly.

Developing a management planThis involves:• Defining management objectives. Objectives are a statement of what is to beachieved, defined in terms of desired outcomes, usually conservation or economicbenefits. Objectives should state what will be achieved (reduced impact) where, bywhen and by whom.• Selecting management options. The management option is selected that will mosteffectively and efficiently meet the management objectives. The options include:eradication, containment, sustained management, targeted management, one-offaction and taking no action.• Set the management strategy.This defines the actions that will be undertaken:who will do what, when, how and where. It describes how the selected pestmanagement options and techniques will be integrated and implemented toachieve the management objectives.• Monitoring the success of the program against the stated objectives. Monitoring hastwo components, operational monitoring – what was done when and at what cost:-this determines the efficiency of the program, and performance monitoring:- werethe objectives of the plan achieved and if not why not, that is the effectiveness ofthe program.45Good management plans work out the goals, options, and best approach for pest control, and, plan to monitor progress.

Choosing control techniquesCooperative controlFeral camel control techniques have the potential to cause animals to suffer. To minimisethis risk the most humane technique that will achieve the control program’s aims should beused. This will be the technique that causes the least amount of pain and suffering to thetarget animal with the least harm or risk to non-target animals, people and the environment.The technique must also be effective in the situation where it will be used (e.g. trapping willhave little effect when there is plenty of surface water and/or succulent feed available). Itis also important to remember that the humaneness of a technique is highly dependant onwhether or not it is correctly employed. In selecting techniques it is therefore important toconsider whether sufficient resources are available to implement that technique properly.Effective management of feral camels and their impact will not only require the application ofa range of control methods but also a strategic approach that involves collaboration acrossjurisdictions. Feral camels are very mobile and move over very large areas. Consequently,extensive buffer zones will be needed in arid regions to protect environmentally sensitive areasfrom camel impacts if these threaten biodiversity values in those areas. Also, because feralcamels are wide ranging, it is imperative that the relevant State and Territory Governmentsact together to manage the species across its entire range.46Camel ‘steak’ holders working together.For feral camel management to work well we need to use a range of control methods and work together across country.

Feral Camel Control TechniquesHumaneness of control techniquesControl techniques with the widest practical application across Australia and greatestpotential for effective control of feral camels are aerial shooting and ground shooting,mustering and trapping at water. Fencing that excludes camels but allows free access bywildlife has also been use to reduce damage to key waterholes. Fertility control is not likelyto be an efficient form of population control since most camels live in the vast rangelandsof central Australia making delivery of any fertility control agent problematic.Different techniques are best suited to particular situations depending on issues such ascamel density, accessibility, geography and season. Aerial culling by properly trainedand accredited shooters using approved procedures is considered to be a humane wayto reduce feral camel numbers over large areas. The process is quick and, dependingon circumstances, may be more humane than mustering, yarding and transportation forslaughter.Fertility controlFertility control is seen by some as a preferred method of broad-scale feral camel controlas it offers a potential humane and target specific alternative to lethal methods. However,delivery of hormones or vaccines that have a transient contraceptive effect are difficultto administer to large numbers of free-roaming camels and there is no long-acting orpermanent method of fertility control presently available; therefore repeated administrationwould be required. Consequently, its application is not currently feasible for most Australianconditions where feral camel numbers are high and their domain extensive.Cost-effectiveness, humaneness and efficacy for each control technique are useful indeciding the most appropriate strategy. A brief evaluation of the humaneness of controltechniques follows:47Feral camel control methods must be humane and effective where they are used.

Exclusion fencingExclusion fencing is generally regarded as a humane, non-lethal alternative to lethal controlmethods. However, fencing of large areas is expensive to construct and maintain and isdifficult in rugged and/or extensive terrain. Therefore it is only feasible and economical forprotecting smaller areas of high conservation or cultural value. Exclusion fencing is mostlyused to prevent access of camels to important cultural sites on Aboriginal land, primarilywaterholes.Camel-proof fences around waterholes deny access to drinking water. There are significantanimal welfare considerations with this form of management, if there are no other waterholesnearby. If the objective is to prevent camels from going into a waterhole and fouling it orbecoming trapped, rather than stopping them from drinking, a more humane approach isto use a ‘spider’ structure. This is placed over the waterhole to prevent camels from enteringthe water but still allows them access to the water to drink.Although exclusion fencing acts as a barrier to feral camels it can have negative effects onnon-target species by altering dispersion and foraging patterns, and causing entanglement.It can also create a significant hazard to wildlife in the event of a bushfire. Fences constructedto exclude feral camels from a water source should not preclude wildlife such as kangaroosand dingoes.Fences need to be strong and visible to keep camels out.48A ‘spider’ design that also shades the water.‘Spiders’ can stop camels falling into the water.Fences and ‘spiders’ are mostly used to protect important sites on Aboriginal lands.

MusteringMustering will expose feral camels to extended periods of stress and anxiety compared toaerial culling. To minimise this impact, it is preferable to use coacher camels which calm themob and minimise potential for injury, exhaustion or separation of dependent calves fromcows. Camels will be less stressed if they are mustered using horses or 4WD vehicles ratherthan motorbikes.Feral camels should be handled quietly without force to avoid panic and trampling. The tailend of the mob must be allowed to set the pace rather than being forced to keep up withthe leaders. Camels must not be driven to the point of collapse. Distances that the camelshave to be mustered should be kept to a minimum e.g. by using portable yards.It is preferable not to muster together separate feral camel social groups when bulls are inrut (April-September). However if this cannot be avoided, all mature bulls must be draftedoff from mixed social groups of cows / calves / young bulls as soon as possible after capture.Not withstanding the above, some rutting bulls may have to be humanely culled to avoidinjury to young calves and fighting between competing males.TrappingTrapping presents differentrisks than mustering, giventhat the camels are notdriven into the trap butgo in quietly of their ownaccord. However herdsof mixed ages and sexesare held together untilseparated so there is stillthe potential for welfareproblems during the process of holding, handling and transferring the camels from the trapto a vehicle for transport.To minimise the possibility of stress and injury, all traps must be inspected at least once daily.Bayonet gates must be removed from trap yards when yards cannot be inspected withappropriate frequency. Camels must have access to water and feed if they are to be heldfor more than 24 hours. Traps should be constructed to provide camels with shade andshelter and should be large enough to avoid overcrowding. In addition yards should be welldrained to allow camels to sit down in areas free of surface water after rainfall.Capture and handling should be avoided when females are calving or have dependentyoung at foot. Dependent calves that do not accompany their mother into the trap may beseparated and die of starvation or if trapped can get trampled underfoot.Camel traps can have a negative impact on native non-target species (especiallymacropods) by inadvertently trapping them and also by excluding them from water sources.This impact can be minimised by using a suitable yard design that incorporates fencingmaterial and gates that allow wildlife to escape if trapped. Also, the fencing used to protectalternative water sources from camels when trapping should allow access to wildlife species.Camels can be caught by mustering and by using trap yards.49

Management of captured or mustered camelsMustering, capture and handling increase stress in feral camels as they are not used toconfinement or close contact with humans. Consequently, these procedures have thepotential to cause mismothering, feeding disruption, social disruption, and also abortion inheavily pregnant females. Metabolic, nutritional and parasitic diseases and also changesin environmental conditions may cause mortality and morbidity in confined feral camels,especially when confined for long periods.The removal of trapped feral camels off-property for either sale to abattoirs, live export, orfor domestication, involves additional stress to animals.ShootingShooting is considered more humane than capture and removal as the animals are notsubject to the stresses of mustering, yarding, and long-distance transportation.Ground shootingShooting can be a humane method of destroying free-roaming feral camels when it iscarried out by experienced, skilled and responsible shooters; the animal can be clearlyseen and is within range; the correct firearm, ammunition and shot placement is used; andany wounded animals are promptly located and killed as quickly and humanely as possible.If lactating females are shot, dependent calves should also be shot quickly and humanely.Ground shooting is not suited to rough country as wounded animals cannot be effectivelypursued and would suffer unnecessarily.Shooting is also used to euthanase camels that have been captured by mustering ortrapping when they are injured or diseased, there is no market for them or for other reasonsas described in the relevant SOP.Aerial shootingAerial shooting of feral camels from a helicopter can be a humane control method whenit is carried out by highly skilled and experienced shooters and pilots; the correct firearm,ammunition and shot placement is used; and any wounded animals are promptly locatedand killed. Shooting from a moving platform can significantly detract from the shooter’saccuracy therefore helicopter shooting operations may not always result in a clean kill forall animals. Follow-up procedures are essential to ensure that any wounded animals arekilled.With aerial shooting of camels, initial head shots are most frequently made to achieveinstantaneous loss of consciousness and loss of brain function. After the initial head shot,further shot/s must be fired into the cranium or chest to ensure death.50Shooting can be a humane way to kill camels if it is done by experienced, skilled and responsible shooters.

Table 1: Humaneness, Efficacy, Cost-effectiveness and Target Specificity of Feral Camel Control MethodsControlTechniqueAcceptabilityof techniquewith regard tohumaneness*EfficacyCosteffectivenessTarget SpecificityCommentsExclusionfencing Acceptable Limited Expensive Can be in certain situationsExpensive, therefore impractical for large scale application. Fencingcan be effective for small, critical (economic or environmental)areas, though the maintenance costs are still high. Will havesignificant animal welfare impacts if camels are denied access todrinking water and there are no other sources of water nearby.FertilitycontrolConditionallyAcceptableNot currently effective Expensive Target-specificNot currently available. Not currently possible for large scale control.Not suitable for population control in long-lived animals with a slowrate of increase when impact mitigation is a primary objective.MusteringConditionallyacceptableEffectiveCost-effective.Requires sufficientreturns to musterersto offset costs.Target-specificEfficient and cost-effective where camels are present in highdensities, terrain is relatively flat and camel prices are sufficient.Increased welfare concerns associated with capture and transportof camels, particularly if over large distances. May be more costlythan trapping depending on trap location and accessibility.Can have an impact on non-target species.Can be used to trap animals to facilitate ground culling operations.Trapped non-target species must be removedMost effective when conditions are dry and there are fewTrappingConditionallyacceptableEffectiveCost-effectiveas quickly as possible to avoid undue stressor death. Traps at natural water holes maywaterholes around where camels can drink. Cost-efficient methodof capture, particularly when camels are trapped for sale andrestrict access by native species. Traps shouldthe trap facility is built in conjunction with trucking facility. If bestbe designed so that most wildlife can gopractice is not adhered to there are significant animal welfarethrough fences or under gates.considerations with the implementation of this method.GroundshootingAcceptable ifundertaken byapproved andaccreditedoperatorsNot effective at reducinghigh density populationsbut can manage lowdensities and/or provide asolution to congregationsduring dry times.Not cost –effective for largescale removaloperations.Target-specificLabour intensive, only suitable for smaller scale, opportunisticoperations. Most useful during drought and where camels cannotbe captured by trapping or mustering. Limited application in goodseasons when there is lots of water around and camels are widelydispersed.RelativelyAerialShootingAcceptable ifundertaken byapproved andaccreditedoperatorsEffectiveexpensive. Canbe cost-effectivewhen cameldensity is high butcost prohibitivewhen camelTarget-specificSuitable for extensive areas and inaccessible country wherelandholder consent is attained. In these circumstances it is amost effective way of achieving quick, large scale culling duringcongregation events or in high density areas.densities are low.* Acceptable methods are those that are humane when used correctly.* Conditionally acceptable methods are those that, by the nature of the technique, may not be consistently humane. There may be a period of poor welfare before death.* Methods that are not acceptable are considered to be inhumane. The welfare of the animal is very poor before death, often for a prolonged period.51

LegislationAll those involved in pest animal control should familiarise themselves with relevant aspectsof the appropriate Commonwealth and State or Territory legislation. The table below givessome of the relevant legislation. This list is not exhaustive and the legislation is constantlybeing reviewed.Commonwealth Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999ACT Animal Welfare Act 1992Nature Conservation Act 1980Poisons Act 1933Pesticides Act 1989Animal Diseases Act 1993Prohibited Weapons Act 1996Firearms Act 1996Environment Protection Act 1997Rabbit Destruction Act 1919New South Wales Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979Pesticides Act 1999Rural Lands Protection Act 1998National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974Game and Feral Animal Control Bill 2002Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995Wild Dog Destruction Act 1923Northern Territory Animal Welfare ActTerritory Parks and Wildlife Conservation ActPoisons and Dangerous Drugs ActQueensland Animal Care and Protection Act 2001Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002Nature Conservation Act 199252South Australia Animal Welfare Act 1985Natural Resources Management Act 2004Controlled Substances Act 1984National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972Dog Fence Act 1946Tasmania Animal Welfare Act 1993Vermin Control Act 2000Poisons Act 1971Agricultural And Veterinary Chemical (Control of Use) Act 1995National Parks and Wildlife Act 1970Police Offences Act 1935Victoria Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994Agriculture and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) Act 1992Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981Wildlife Act 1975Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988National Parks Act 1975Western Australia Animal Welfare Act 2002Agriculture Protection Board Act 1950Agriculture and Related Resources Protection Act 1976Poisons Act 1964Wildlife Conservation Act 1950Biological Control Act 1986Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007Other relevantlegislationFirearms ActsOccupational Health and Safety ActsDangerous Goods or Substances ActsDog ActsCivil Aviation ActsNote: copies of the above legislation and relevant regulations may be obtained fromFederal, State and Territory publishing services.Those involved in pest management should be familiar with relevant legislation.

Standard Operating ProceduresFurther InformationFor regional variations on control techniques refer to local legislation and regulations. Foradditional examples refer to the NSW DPI Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).SOPs are currently available for the following feral camel control methods:○○○○○○Ground shooting of feral camels (CAM001)Aerial shooting of feral camels (CAM002)Mustering of feral camels (CAM003)Contact the relevant Commonwealth, State or Territory government agencyfrom the following websites:CommonwealthDepartment of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population andCommunities of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Department of Primary Industries of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry of Primary Industries and Regions of Agriculture and refer to: views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflectthose of the Commonwealth and New South Wales Governments or the Commonwealth Minister for theEnvironment and Heritage and the New South Wales Minister for Primary Industries respectively. Whilereasonable efforts have been made to ensure that the contents of this publication are factually correct, theCommonwealth and New South Wales do not accept responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of thecontents, and shall not be liable for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly throughthe use of, or reliance on, the contents of this pubvlication.Contact your local government agency or natural resources management officer for further information.53

ReferencesAnon. (2004). The feral camel (Camelus dromedarius). Natural Heritage Trust, Department of theEnvironment and Heritage.Anon. (2000). Farmnote no. 122/2000 (Reviewed 2008). Feral Camel. Department of Agricultureand Food. Vertebrate Pest Resarch Services, Forrestfield, Western Australia.Anon. (2007). Arabian camel. Northern Territory Department of Natural Resources, Environmentand the Arts. Available from:, M. (1993). Managing Vertebrate Pests: Principals and Strategies. Bureau of ResourceSciences, Canberra.Braysher, M. and Saunders, G. (2002). Best practice pest animal management. NSW Departmentof Agriculture Advisory Note DAI 279Broom, D.M. (1999). The welfare of vertebrate pests in relation to their management. In: CowandDP & Feare CJ (eds.). Advances in vertebrate pest management. Filander Verlag, Fürth. pp309–329.Edwards G.P., McGregor M., Zeng B., Saalfeld W.K., Vaarzon-Morel P. and Duffy M. (2008).Overview of the project- Cross jurisdictional management of feral camels to protect NRM andcultural values, DKCRC Report 54. Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre, AliceSprings.Koehler, J. W. (1964). Opening remarks. Proceedings of the 2nd Vertebrate Pest ControlConference. March 4 and 5, 1964, Anaheim, California.Lapidge S.J, Eason C.T and Humphrys S.T. (2008). A review of chemical, biological and fertilitycontrol options for the camel in Australia, DKCRC Research Report 51. Desert Knowledge CRC,Alice Springs.Litten, K. E., Mellor, D. J., Warburton, B., and Eason, C. T. (2004). Animal welfare and ethical issuesrelevant to the humane control of vertebrate pests. New Zealand Veterinary Journal. 52, 1–10.Manefield, G.W. and Tinson, A.H. (2000). Camels - A Compendium. The T.G. Hungerford VadeMecum Series for Domestic Animals. Series C, No 22. University of Sydney PostgraduateFoundation in Veterinary Science, Sydney.NCCAW (2004). The Australian Animal Welfare Strategy. National Consultative Committee onAnimal Welfare, Primary Industries Ministerial Council. Document available electronically fromthe Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry website:, B. J. (1994). Commercial use of wild animals in Australia. Australian GovernmentPublishing Service, Canberra.RSPCA (2004). A national approach towards humane vertebrate pest control. Discussion paperarising from the proceedings of an RSPCA Australia/AWC/VPC joint workshop, August 4–5,Melbourne. RSPCA Australia, Canberra.54

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