By JR on Thursday, June 09, 2011
LOL! Can you imagine the animal lovers steaming over this idea! How to put yet another group offside
THE Federal Government is considering awarding carbon credits for getting rid of feral camels under an initiative to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Although the Carbon Farming Initiative has yet to pass parliament, three proposals are undergoing formal assessment, including one to "manage" Australia's feral camel population. The other two options include early burn-offs and inoculating cattle to stop them burping.
Tim Moore, the managing director of Adelaide-based Northwest Carbon who proposed the camel cull idea, said more than 1.2 million camels are roaming Australia's rangelands, covering Western Australia, the Northern Territory, South Australia and NSW.
Already considered a pest produce an average methane equivalent of one tonne of carbon dioxide a year, making them one of Australia's big emitters. One camel produces 45kg of methane a year which is equivalent of one tonne of carbon dioxide. It is the same amount of carbon dioxide produced by a plane on a 7000km flight.
In comparison a cow produces 35kg of methane annually or 0.8 tonnes, while the average car emits four tonnes when driven over 20,000km annually.
"They live anywhere from 30 to 50 years in the wild, there's 1.2 million of them and that figure is doubling every nine years, so it's a huge problem," Dr Moore said.
Under his proposal, camels would be shot from helicopters or four-wheel drives, or mustered and then sent to an abattoir for either human or pet consumption.
He estimates that given their lifespan, every animal culled would save around 14 or 15 tonnes in abatement. Dr Moore said one of the best things about the scheme is that it would be market driven, potentially living outside the troublesome political cycle. He added the plan provided real scope to provide real jobs for indigenous Australians.
Dr Moore is confident the unusual proposal, which has already caught the attention of the British press, will get the go-ahead. "We're a nation of innovators and we find innovative solutions to our challenges - this is just a classic example," he said.