Outback Queensland feral camel auction attracts interest from as far as Victoria | Ralph-Lauren

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A camel auction in the western Queensland channel country has attracted interest from buyers as far away as Victoria, with seven mobs selling for more than $250 a head.

The Blackett family from Alderley Station, north of Boulia, put more than 120 camels on the market in an Australian-first for the website AuctionsPlus.

Despite enquiries from across the country, selling agent Scott Taylor said most of the camels were going to stay in the local area.

“They have to be loaded on an open trailer, so that makes the freight a lot more expensive because we just can’t match them in with cattle trucks,” he said.

“We ran a few sums for an interested person from Narromine, near Dubbo in New South Wales, and he was after eight of the weaner camels and it was going to cost him $6,000 in the truck to get them there.”

A camel is standing close to the camera with a blue sky above
Livestock agent Scott Taylor hopes more camels can be sold online after the success of an auction from western Queensland.(ABC Rural: Eden Hynninen)

Camels sold for weed control

The camels were divided up into seven different mobs for the auction, with two buyers snapping them up.

Scott Blackett said they were purchased for different reasons including controlling the weed prickly acacia.

“All our [non-breeding] camels got sold locally to a camel wheeler and dealer,” he said.

“He’s got a few of his own racing camels.

“The cow/calf units heading are across to Winton and they’ll be used for weed control.”

A mob of camels stand in cattle yards.
The Blackett family mustered the camels in the yards and divided them into seven mobs for the online auction.(Supplied: AuctionsPlus)

Hopes for more camel auctions

Mr Blackett said the animals had been on the property for decades, but family had only ever sold them in small mobs to local buyers and to the iconic Boulia Camel Races.

“We only ever used to go out and get a little handful for the local races in the camel tagging or if someone wanted a handful to train up for racing,” he said.

A sign which reads Boulia: Land of the Min Min Light, then a station name, Alderley Station
Alderley Station sold more than 100 camels this week for the first time ever on the website AuctionsPlus.(Supplied: Alderley Station)

Mr Taylor said he had never heard of camels being auctioned online before and he hoped the sale would open the market to more graziers.

“I’ve had another landholder east of Winton, while this auction was on, wanting to list some camels,” he said.

“I think there will be more.”

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