Tunisia: Breeders hit by crisis, Tozeur camels at risk

Traditional farming too expensive, owners sell animals

15 November, 13:10

Tozeur camels are at risk Tozeur camels are at risk

(ANSAmed) - Tunis, November 15 - The first thing tourists see when visiting Tozeur, an important tourism destination in the Tunisian desert, are camels pasturing near their hotels who will take them for a ride on the sand. But this local tradition is at risk.

These peaceful animals have been living in Tozeur forever, even before men settled in this part of Tunisia. They soon became the primary means of transport as well as providers of milk and meat. But traditional farming has become too expensive in the current crisis. The president of Tozeur breeders, Belgacem Kirza, told Aps that farming according to century-old traditions is impossible. Breeders have been selling their herds in the past two years. Hundreds of camels from this prestigious breed are being sold to Libya, which offers higher prices than local buyers.

The price of barley, for example, used to feed camels has become extremely expensive, one of the reasons why breeders sell and young people choose other professions.

Moreover, illnesses cannot be treated effectively due to the lack of drugs so that for example smallpox has recently killed many animals. Breeders have also not responded to a request by authorities to brand animals so it very hard to establish the number of herds right now. According to the most precise estimate available, camels in the Tozeur area are 2,500. (ANSAmed).

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