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Food & Drink

Wild Camels to be Exported from Australia as Fine Cuisine

Feral camels will be exported from South Australia as fine cuisine under a $21.14M plan for an abattoir in Port Pirie, about 140 miles north of state capital Adelaide, The Advertiser reported Monday.

Egyptian businessman Magdy El Ashram this week will lodge an application with the local council to develop a Gladstone slaughterhouse and spark a $60 million-a-year export industry employing up to 250 people.

The planned abattoir will become the largest of its type in Australia and slaughter 100,000 animals a year for sale to the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

Agriculture Minister Michael O'Brien said he would lobby intensely for the project, which would tackle an environmental menace and provide regional jobs.

The factory -- which could also process donkeys and goats -- is expected to be operational next year and comes in the wake of job losses following closure of Port Pirie's Conroy's cattle abattoir.

An estimated 1.5 million feral camels are on the loose in central Australia and roam an area that crosses into three states and the Northern Territory. They breed at such a rate the population doubles every nine years.