Advances in Animal and Veterinary Sciences

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Research Article


The Camel, the Desert-Ship is on its Way to Extinction in Iraq: Report on Slaughtered Camels in Iraq


Montaser Omar Abdel Aziz*, Salah Fadal Abbas, Abdul Kareem Abdul Ibrahim, Eman Abdul Redah Allawi

Al-Muthana Veterinary Hospital, Iraq.


Abstract | The numbers of camels in Iraq are decreasing year after year due to many causes. One of these are the continuous slaughtering. This report is highlighted the numbers of slaughtered camels in Iraq and the solution to overcome this phenomena.


Keywords | Cows and heifers, Prostaglandin F2α, Estrus synchronization, Duration of estrus, Pregnancy rate.


Editor | Kuldeep Dhama, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Received | March 06, 2018; Accepted | May 28, 2018; Published | July 25, 2018

*Correspondence | Montaser Omar Abdel Aziz, Al-Muthana Veterinary Hospital, Iraq; Email:

Citation | Aziz MOA, Abbas SF, Ibrahim AKA, Allawi EAR (2018). The camel, the desert-ship is on its way to extinction in iraq: report on slaughtered camels in iraq. Adv. Anim. Vet. Sci. 6(8): 337-340.


ISSN (Online) | 2307-8316; ISSN (Print) | 2309-3331

Copyright © 2018 Aziz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.




In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the breeding and production of camels in many Arab countries because of their economic value and their distinctive characteristics in facing the difficult environmental conditions. There is no animal resembling the camels by adapting to the desert atmosphere. It can live, reproduce and work under harsh environmental conditions. It is the only animal that consumes less food resources in the Arabian Desert to produce abundant quantities of meat, milk and other products. That is why God mentioned it in the Quran in Surat Al-Ghashiyah: “Do not they look at the camel how it was created?” And also Prophet Mohammed (The Messenger of Allah) said (The camel is camel Almighty to her family).


Iraq is considered as one of the most Arab countries with the presence of numbers of camels, but these numbers are decreasing in a way that need be investigate to find the reasons and solutions and to prevent this animal from reaching the point of extinction. No previous publication have been found in literatures concerning slaughtering of camels in Iraq. Therefore, this study was designed to focus on the situation and number of slaughtered camels in Iraq.


Data Collection

The total numbers of animals in Iraq during the period between 1965 and 1970 is presented in Table 1, according to statistic data collected by ministry of agriculture.


Table 1: Shows the Total number of animals in Iraq in years 1965 and 1970 including camel.


Species of animals Year 1965 Year 1970
Sheep 11040205


Goat 1145488


Cow 1454922


Buffalo 224622


Camel 210839



Ministry of agriculture/ Department of Statistics for the year 1969


Moreover, the countries and the numbers of camel are represented in Table 2 and. In 1975, Iraq owned 238000 heads of camel in compare to other countries Figure 1.


The camels population was revealed variability in during the years (1975 to 1984) that is presented in Table 3.


Meat of the Camel

Studies indicate that meat of the camel calf is similar in its composition and taste to beef meat (Knoes, 1977; Shereha, 1990). The rate of body weight, growth and the character istics of the of meat production in camels under the natural pastures from many regions are presented in Table 4.


Statistics of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 1976



Table 2: Shows the numbers of camel in each country( X 1000)


Country Numbers
Iraq 238
Algeria 180
Chad 303
Egypt 105
Ethiopia 1010
Kenya 530
Libya 120
Mali 160
Mauritania 722
Morocco 190
SaudiArabia 606
Somalia 3089
Sudan 2600
Tunisia 211
India 1153
Pakistan 850
Afghanistan 300
Mongolia 670


Statistics of FAO at 1976


In camel, the average daily weight gain in the first period of birth until the age of six months was 758 g. The rate decreased from 6 months to one year. The weight of male and female was 512 and 476 respectively with a refinement rate (54%), which are better than meat of the local cattle in properties, qualities and rate production. In addition, camel meat is characterized by good taste and softness, especially in two years of age.


Number of Slaughtered Camels in Iraq

According to the available data, for example, in 1975, a total of 6,367 heads were slaughtered in the Baghdad abattoir only (abattoir report in 1975) and 635 heads in 1989 in Baghdad also for the month of January (Al Ani, 1999).


Table 3: Shows the variability in camels population in Iraq during years 1975 to 1984


Year Numbers of camels Observations


(1)Statistics of the Central Organization for Statistics Organization of FAO and the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development AOAD
1976 52352  








2008 58000

(2) Report of the National Survey of Livestock in Iraq for the year 2008


Table 4: shows the rates of body weight/ Kg in camels for both sex male and female


Character Rate of body weight / kg
  Male Female
Weight at birth 39.2 35.8
Weight at 6 months 174.6 172.1
Weight at 12 months 274.0


Weight at 24 months 401.1


Weight at 5 years 523.0



The slaughtered camels was reached about 24151 head in Iraqi provinces according to survey report (2008) of the national Iraqi livestock (Table 5 and Figure 2).



Table 5: Shows the number of slaughtered camel during 12 months of year 2008


Governorate Numbers of slaughtered camel during 12 months of 2008
Dohuk -
Nineveh 9575
Sulaymaniyah -
Kirkuk -
Erbil -
Daialya 156
Anbar 153
Baghdad -
Babel 235
Karbala 56
Wassit 2080
Salah Eldin 250
Najaf 362
Al Qadissya 1344
Al Muthanna 1140
Dhi Qar 1648
Mayssan 3045
Basra 4107
Total number 24151


Table 6: Shows the total numbers of slaughtered camels in Iraqi governorates during the years 2013 to 2017.


Governorate 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Baghdad 0 1 0 0


Nineveh 0 5 81 0


Basra 0 0 0 0


Babel 64 122 114 0


Karbala 253 42 94 125


Najaf 2598 3259 3421 3353


Al Qadissya 2019 2534 2929 2502


Dhi Qar 225 225 294 274


Mayssan 143 166 191 78


Wassit 0 0 24 0


Daialya 0 0 0 0


Salah Eldin 87 1 0 0


Kirkuk 0 2 1 15


Anbar 17 0 0 0


Al Muthanna 555 610 812 881


Total 5961 7067 7991 7216



The recent data on the number of slaughtered camel in Iraq was also collected for the last 5 years in between 2013 to 2017 (Table 6). The total number of the slaughtered camels in Iraq was 33767 head of camels last five years. These are huge numbers if compare to the total number 58293 that released at year 2008 for camelids in Iraq at a percentage of 58%. Despite the breeding and proliferation of camels, and if the slaughtering process is continued, the camelids are at risk if no policy and actions taken to limit this procedure.


Directory Veterinary Service Procedures to Protect Camelid from Slaughtering

The veterinary department observed the danger of continuous slaughtering of camels and issued instructions to prevent non equilibrium slaughtering and circulated to all Iraqi governorates veterinary hospitals. These instructions are including the following points:


1. The slaughtering of camels should be strict and according to law and regulations previously issued regarding slaughtering of animals in abattoirs. A new emphasis official letters were issued from Veterinary Department’s number 15708 on 9/11/2015 and No. 16650 on 20/10/2016 regarding the necessity of preventing slaughtering of camels complying with the Law of Organizing the Slaughter of Animals No. (22) of 1972 and the Instructions No. (2) for the year 1990 statement ʺanimals not to be slaughter until confirming and certified by the veterinary hospital proving that the animal old or sick is not fit for breeding˝.

2. Prevent slaughtering of camels in general and she camels in particular with a veterinary health certificate shows that this animals is not suitable for breeding and reproduction for any reason (The report should be written from a committee members of veterinarians in the veterinary hospital.

3. Training and education should provide camel breeders from the Bedouins to prevent slaughtering and give more care for their camels because they are one of the national t is important economic wealth in Iraq.

4. Provide a pastures, especially in the low rainfall seasons, and renting land for them and Digging of artesian water wells for planting field crops.

5. Provide camel’s breeder with concentrated feed.

6. Prevent smuggling and force them to use plastic counting tag to prevent this phenomenon.


Conflict of Interest


There is no conflict of interest from any other party for publishing this article.


Authors Contribution


All authors contributed equally.




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