The Central Australian Camel Industry Association (CACIA) is asking private business to fund a purpose-built abattoir in the Northern Territory, which could reduce export costs and increase markets for the camel industry.

Peter Siedel, president of the CACIA, said that the abattoir would cost around A$2-3m (US$1.6-3.2m) to build.

“There’s been a lot of inquiries from a lot of other areas that are just out of the reach geographically to make it feasible to ship camels to,” he told ABC Regional News. “We’ve had inquiries from places even like South America but… there’s very little livestock shipping that’s going there and by air is really out of the question – that’s far too expensive.”

Camel producers in the Northern Territory currently export live camels to ten countries worldwide, where they are slaughtered for food on arrival.