ALICE SPRINGS, Australia, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- An Australian cattleman claims thousands of camels have been shot from helicopters and their carcasses left to rot by those intent on culling the population.
Ian Conway, owner of Kings Creek Station in Alice Springs, said about 5,000 camels have shot and left to die in the past two weeks, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported Wednesday.
"We've been along and seen where camels have kicked for 20 minutes, half an hour, a couple of hours in some instances, still alive," he said.
Conway said he agreed camel herds need to be thinned because the animals cause ecological and pastoral damage, but the current tactic causes other problems.
"All that did was increase the population of dingoes around Docker River and blowflies," Conway said. "And the stench around the country was unbelievable. I spoke to many Aboriginal men who said they'd left the country because it was too rotten to stay there for up to six months."
Conway said the animals should be sold to slaughterhouses and humanely killed for meat.
"If they were caught, even if half of them were caught, that's revenue for people in the territory," he said.
Northern Territory Chief Minister Paul Henderson said an investigation into Conway's claims will be launched.
"That should absolutely be done humanely, and I don't know where those reports are coming from, but we'll certainly look into them," he said.