FIRST EVER: Paddy McHugh will sell 100 camels at the Gracemre Saleyards.
FIRST EVER: Paddy McHugh will sell 100 camels at the Gracemre Saleyards.

Paddy spits on all those camel myths



THE Gracemere Sale-yards has been home to countless auctions over the years but it has never seen anything quite like this.

Tomorrow, the venue will host Australia's first ever commercial camel auction with about 100 head set to pass through the centre ring.

Organiser Paddy McHugh said he was surprised by the amount of interest the sale had generated.

"I've had more than 50 phone calls from people interested in the sale ... they are coming from Toowoomba and they are coming from Cooktown,'' he said.

He said many farmers were using the animals to clear weeds such as prickly acacia and parkinsonia.

He said the auction was a sign of things to come saying he hoped to hold another auction within six months.

"This is really the start of the commercial camel industry in Australia.''

The auctions kicks of at 10am tomorrow and Mr McHugh will hold an information session at 9am to dispel some camel myths.

"A lot of people think they wreck fences and that they spit ... that is absolute rubbish.''

He said he expected most of the camels to fetch between $500 and $1500 at the auction but he said that was nothing compared to the Middle East where the most expensive racing camel is worth a reported $4 million.

Mr McHugh said it was the Middle East his company had its eyes on, citing plans to establish an abattoir either in Rockhampton or Mackay to export camel meat.



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