Row of Dead Camels: 100s of Abandoned Camels Die in Saudi Arabia's Diplomatic Row with Qatar

Row of Dead Camels: 100s of Abandoned Camels Die in Saudi Arabia's Diplomatic Row with Qatar
Tue Jul 11, 2017 09:20:11

Hundreds of camels have died of starvation and thirst after being driven out of Saudi Arabia during its row with Qatar.

Some animals perished when they got stuck at the border between the two countries where there was insufficient food and water.

Others have been left to die by the roadside after their owners were given one hour to leave their farms. It happened when the Saudis kicked out the Qatari owners of more than 15,000 camels and 10,000 sheep as part of their row with the tiny Gulf state.

More than 9,000 camels were expelled in just 36 hours. Qatar, which is only 4400 sq. miles big, used the vast spaces of its neighbour, which is 830,000 sq miles, for grazing its animals.

Camel owner, Hussein Al-Marri, from Abu Samra, said: "I have returned from Saudi Arabia. I myself saw more than 100 dead camels on the road as well as hundreds of lost camels and sheep."

Another farmer, who did not want to be named, added: "I lost 50 heads of sheep and five camels and there are 10 missing. I do not know anything about them.”

Video footage showed them herded into huge pens after restricted border opening hours meant only a few hundred could cross each day, and many died of thirst or untreated injuries.

Last month the Saudi Arabia-led alliance launched a diplomatic and transport blockade over Doha’s closeness to Iran and alleged links with extremism.

At the same time it ordered all Qataris out of the country, including nomadic farmers and their animals. Many animals were saved when the environment ministry provided emergency shelter for more than 8,000 camels on the Qatari side of the border with water tanks and food.

Officials also said that specialist teams of animal experts and veterinarians had been assigned to the farmers.

Many camels are used for farming such products as milk and also breeding, a lucrative industry in Qatar, where camel racing remains very popular.

There are still 150,000 Qatari camels in Saudi Arabia and it is not clear when or if they will be expelled.


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