SOAS University of London

Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

The Camel Conference @ SOAS 2013

Camel and Boy, Pakistan [Photo: M. Arshad Hussain]

Date: 29 April 2013Time: 12:00 AM

Finishes: 30 April 2013Time: All Day

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Type of Event: Conference

The following is the programme for our 2013 Conference. Please note that some participants will be contributing by means of video-conferencing.

Please note that the programme for Monday 29 April will include an evening meal at a local restaurant (all welcome to attend); a lunchtime guest appearance by two Bactrian camels at SOAS for a camel photoshoot; and a small concert.

Speakers - in alphabetical order:

 Time Event
 Marketing systems of live-camel and camel products in the desert ecologies of Pakistan
KHALID MAHMOOD AUJLA [Pakistan Agricultural Research Council]
Download PDF of paper (pdf; 217kb)
 Ed’s Stone – The story of an enterolith
 Factors affecting camel breeders’ knowledges and their acceptability to related modern technologies in some districts of Matrouh Governorate
K.A. EL-BAHRAWY [Desert Research Center, Cairo, Egypt] et al.
 The Camel Saddle: A Study
DOUG BAUM [Texas Camel Corps]
Download PDF of paper (pdf; 384kb)
 Camels and the humble tassel
KEIREINE CANAVAN / ALI ALNAJADAH [Cardiff Metropolitan University: Cardiff School of Art & Design]
 A pictorial review of traditional husbandry methods: 16 ways to stop a camel calf to suckle his mother at will
MAURIZIO DIOLI [Independent researcher]
 Indigenous camel herders in Iran -a story of conservation, resilience and re-empowerment
M. TAGHI FARVAR [ICCA Consortium, and Centre for Sustainable Development (CENESTA), Iran] et al.
 The Camel in pre-Roman and Roman Tunisia: A critical re-assessment of archaeological evidence and new discoveries
SARAH C. FOX [Independent researcher]
 The wild camel – future prospects
JOHN HARE [Wild Camel Protection Foundation]
 Refocusing on the dromedary: A photographic account of its virtues and contribution to food security in the Nigeria–Niger corridor
 Establishing the relationship between infrared images and heart rate as a potential indicator of metabolic activity in the dromedary camel (Camelus dromedarius)
Heather Longhorn [University of Guelph, Canada]
 Indigenous knowledge of pastoralists on camel in Jijiga zone of the Somali region, Ethiopia
YOHANNES MEHARI [Independent researcher] et al.
 Promotion of innovative systems in Camel breeding for sustainable development in Egypt and Tunisia: The ENPI CBC MED ‘PROCAMED’ project
DAVIDE MONACO [University of Bari] et al.
 Study of camel production system and hair processing in Iran
M. SALEHI [Agricultural Research & Education Organization, Ministry of Jihad-e-Agriculture, Iran] et al.
Download PDF of paper (pdf; 134kb)
 Camel milk for diabetes and cow’s milk allergy: Present knowledge and future prospects
M.G. Smits [European Camel Research Society]
 Conservation of camel genetic resources: Epididymal sperm recovery
F. TURRI [Institute of Agricultural Biology and Biotechnology, Lodi, Italy] et al.  [Poster presentation]
Download PDF of paper (pdf; 216kb)

Additional paper: 
"Camel Milk Production Potential in Challenging Environments"
ABDUL RAZIQ [Lasbela University of Agriculture, Water and Marine Sciences (LUAWMS), Pakistan] [To be confirmed]


Marketing systems of live-camel and camel products in the desert ecologies of Pakistan
Dr. Khalid Mahmood Aujla [Pakistan Agricultural Research Council]

ABSTRACT: This study was designed to examine the marketing systems of live-camels and camel products in the desert ecologies of Pakistan. Two hundred and twenty camel farmers and forty market intermediaries were randomly interviewed for data collection for this study. During the span of last one year, sale of live camels was reported by more than half of the camel farmers. High marketing cost and lack of proper market infrastructure compels farmers to sell camels to the village dealers and fellow farmers at relatively low prices. Percent difference in prices at wholesale market and village levels were 28.6, 12.9, 6.0 and 0.5 for adult male, milch female, non-milking female and young stock respectively. Most of the camel byproducts are either consumed at home or exchanged. Thus proper camel milk, meat, hides and hair markets do not exist in the country. However, there is huge difference in prices of camel byproducts in cases of sales to village dealers and direct sales to town shopkeepers. The prevailing marketing situation of live camels and its products is an indicative of exploitation of the camel farmers in the hands of the village dealers/market intermediaries. It is, therefore, recommended that the proper marketing system and structure for live camels and camel products should be developed to benefit the poor camel farmers.

CV: Dr. Khalid Mahmood Aujla earned B.Sc (Hons) and M.S (Hons) degrees in Agricultural Economics from the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan and a Ph.D. degree in Agricultural Economics from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, USA. Working for national and international institutions as an Agricultural Economist and Program Planning/Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist, Dr. Aujla has had a distinguished career spanning over 27 years. He has vast experience of conducting socioeconomic research, specifically in mountainous, desert, and coastal areas of Pakistan. He has expertise in regional development, policy analysis, project planning, appraisal, review, monitoring and evaluation and conducting impact assessment studies. He has more than 70 publications on his credit.

Principal Scientific Officer, Social Sciences Division, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Ed’s Stone
Adel A. M. Aulaqi [SOAS]

At the last Camel Conference held in May 2011 at SOAS the organiser, Mr. Ed Emery, placed on the panels’ table a camel’s skull and a rather heavy, smooth-surface egg-shaped object. Ed maintained it came out of a Bactrian camel in Toronto Zoo. It sat on his relative’s table as an unusual paper weight.

This  short paper will present  the  results of  investigating  the  nature  of  Ed’s  stone  by  serial  X-rays revealing its intricate layered nature and by chemical and histological analyses. It will briefly explore its origins and some of the possible “myths” surrounding such stones found in animals including man.
Without the gratefully-received support of radiology by Mark Woodhouse and that of Drs Ian Walker and Daniel Tsang  for biochemical and histological analyses  respectively  this paper would not have materialised.

Factors affecting camel breeders’ knowledges and their acceptability to related modern technologies in some districts of Matrouh Governorate
Shafeey, H.(1); Sohair A. Azmy(2); Osman, S. A. (2); Gawish, H. (3); El-Bahrawy, K. A. (1)

ABSTRACT: Camel razing in Egypt is categorized as one of the most ancient extensive breeding systems for livestock, the main obstacle in modernizing of camel raising system, is that the camel breeders themselves don’t believe in that goal. In their sole believe, is in what they are accustomed to do as inherited practices for camel production system form their grandparents. They have a strong undeniable believe that experiencing new technologies is considered a great challenge, which may drag them into unknown hazardous consequence results. That is a main constrain in the development of camel raising system. Great efforts should be started for changing nomads’ habitats. Leading to a major significant alteration in their nomadic nature to convince them for adopting & replacing modern breeding technologies instead of their old traditional practices. In this manner, this study was conducted in some districts of Matrouh governorate to determine the acceptability of camel breeders to some modern technologies. Additionally to predict further obstacles which may affect application of such technologies in field from the breeders’ point of view. It is believed that results of the present investigation gives a futuristic overview in planning an extension program for field application that could be applied in other similar nomadic areas to enhance camel herds’ productivity.

(1)Desert Research Center, Cairo, Egypt.
(2)Faculty of Agriculture, Alexandria University, Egypt.
(3)Sustainable Developing Center For Matrouh Resources, Egypt.

The Camel Saddle: A Study
Doug Baum [Texas Camel Corps]

ABSTRACT: The  Camel  Saddle:  A  Study  attempts  to  put  into  perspective  the  history, development, and utilization of camel saddles from around the world. While many types of  camel  saddles  exist  across  all  camel  regions,  five  from the Arabian  camel realm (parts of Africa,  the Middle East and  the Indian subcontinent) and  two  from the Bactrian realm (Central Asia) will be the primary areas of study.

An  effort  by  the  author  to  chronicle  the  full  breadth  of  the subject  is  in progress,  and  these  seven  saddle  styles  have  been  purposely  chosen  to  represent the variety of design from culture to culture- design based on natural resources and specific use patterns served by such technology. These disparate camel saddle styles as well as their equally localized adornment are, heretofore, unstudied subjects. As such,  The  Camel  Saddle:  A  Study  will  also  employ  photographic illustration contextualizing  the  various  saddles  both  as  functional  tools, necessary  for harnessing the energy of the camel, and also as cultural expressions and objets d'art.

Camel Historian/Specialist
123 County Road 3360
Valley Mills, Texas 76689


Material culture of camel ornamentation in Kuwait Middle East
Keireine Canavan / Ali Alnajadah (presented by K Canavan) [Cardiff Metropolitan University: Cardiff School of Art & Design]

ABSTRACT: Al-Sadu is an ancient, endangered Bedouin tribal textile technique. It is a weaving craft that conveys the Arabian nomadic peoples’ rich cultural heritage and instinctive expression of natural beauty. Semiotic meanings of woven figurative and geometric patterns and symbols portray the women weaver’s creativity and message tribal lifestyle, wealth and the skill of the master-weaver or dhefra, (meaning victorious). The sadu textiles and practice are rhythmically linked to poetry, memory, the extension of the hand, and the graceful moving pace of the camel.

In the past Bedouin tribes depended heavily upon camels for their nomadic lifestyle; for transportation and survival, while women weavers wove decorative textiles for shelter and displayed their aesthetics appreciation for their camel herds. Camels also provided food and hair for yarn making, urine for mordanting dyes, and creative inspiration for figurative symbolism.

A paper entitled ‘The Association between Bedouin Al Sadu Weaving and the Camel ‘ was delivered at the SOAS Camel Conference in 2011, and discussed the weaving al-Sadu technique and the use of the camel symbols in the past, with current developments of new camel decorations.

This paper will discuss recent collaborative research in Kuwait, Middle East, and include the declining oral history of the women weavers, and the semiotic meanings within the material culture of woven camel trappings and ornamentations. The focus will be upon the wasms or camel branding tattoo symbols that inspire and create a complex, archaic visual language of ownership and tribal respect, and which are coded in highly prized, woven sadu textiles.

CV: Keireine Canavan is currently Head of Textiles and Principal Lecturer at Cardiff School of Art & Design, Cardiff Metropolitan University UK and Research Fellow to Al-Sadu Weaving Society, Kuwait. She is a founder member and Project Director of DIGIT Textile Research group and a member of the International Super-research Group, WIRAD.


A pictorial review of traditional husbandry methods: 16 ways to stop a camel calf to suckle his mother at will.
Maurizio Dioli, DVM, MSc, DVetMed, MRCVS [Independent researcher]

ABSTRACT: The main purpose of camel keeping is to provide milk.  In a pastoral nomadic environment it is essential for the nomad household survival to maximize milk off-take for human consumption from lactating animals. During the course of millennia camel keepers have developed many different methods to prevent a calf to suckle his mother at will. This paper shows and explains 16 traditional methods used by pastoralists of various ethnic groups in the Horn of Africa and Middle East.
CV: Italian veterinarian (DVM,MSc,DVetMed,MRCVS) who since 1981 has worked and learned about camels with nomadic camel pastoralists in Kenya, Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Algeria (Western Sahara), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, UAE, Iran. Recipient (2007) of the Award ”Distinguished Camel Scientist” by the College of Veterinary and Animal Science, Rajasthan University, Bikaner, India. Author of: Dioli, M. (2007). Pictorial Guide to Traditional Management, Husbandry and Diseases of the One-Humped Camel. Photographic CD-ROM. and of Schwartz, H. J., Dioli, M. (1992). The one-humped camel in Eastern Africa. A pictorial guide to diseases, health care and management. Margraf Scientific Book Berlin, 282pp


Indigenous camel herders in Iran -a story of conservation, resilience and re-empowerment
M Taghi Farvar (1); Khadija Catherine Razavi (2), Mina Esteqamat (3), Nahid Naqizadeh (4), Abbas Didari (5), Morvarid Kamali (6) and the Council of Elders of UNICAMEL (7) and of UNINOMAD (8)

ABSTRACT: Iran's camel herders – in the context and history of indigenous nomadic tribes – have been subjected to policies of neglect, marginalisation, fragmentation and dispossession of their ancestral domains in the past century by governments of all three contemporary political systems (Reza Shah, Mohammed Reza Shah and most post-revolutionary governments of Iran). Such policies have included:

  • Forced and/or induced sedentarisation of nomadic pastoralists, including camel herding peoples;
  • Special tribal schools the content of which have been designed to alienate the children from their traditional ways of life and to disdain nomadism, seasonal migration and livestock herding;
  • Alienation and dispossession of the lands and ancestral domains through nationalisation and privatisation;
  • Accusation of the camel as destructive of nature and its resources;
  • Favouring of enclosed camel keeping and discouragement of its extensive herding;
  • Destocking of livestock populations;
  • Transfer of alien techniques totally inappropriate to local context, including misguided "ranching schemes".
  • Despite such a negative policy environment the camel herders and along with them many of the indigenous nomadic tribes are organising themselves through reviving customary governance systems and the promotion of indigenous and community conserved areas (ICCAs) over their ancestral domains. As they get organised, their voice is being taken more seriously.

CV: Taghi Farvar has PhD in Ecology and Social Sciences. Based in the Centre for Sustainable Development, Tehran, he is former Vice Rector of Avicenna University in Iran, and the President of the ICCA Consortium, Switzerland. Son of an indigenous nomadic tribe in Azerbaijan, he is engaged in defending the rights of indigenous peoples over their ancestral domains. He has some 40 years of experience as field worker, researcher, trainer, organiser, policy-maker and civil society activist in conservation of biodiversity resources and poverty eradication and the management of common property resources.

1 President, ICCA Consortium ( and Chair of the Centre for Sustainable Development (CENESTA:, Tehran.
2 Executive Director, CENESTA.
3 Advisor on Natural Resource Management and Agroforestry, CENESTA.
4 Programme Officer, CENESTA.
5 Programme Officer for UNINOMAD/UNICAMEL/CENESTA.
6 Programme Officer for UNINOMAD/UNICAMEL/CENESTA.
7 UNICAMEL is the Union of Indigenous Camel Herders of Iran.
8 UNINOMAD is the Union of Indigenous Nomadic Tribes of Iran.

The Camel in pre-Roman and Roman Tunisia: A critical re-assessment of archaeological evidence and new discoveries
Sarah C. Fox [independent researcher]

ABSTRACT: The question of the presence of Camelus dromedarius in Tunisia before the Roman period has been much debated and the most common conclusion, proposed by researchers such as Brogan and Bulliet, is that the dromedary was not present in Tunisia until the Romans introduced it and that even then it was relatively unimportant. However, researchers have not critically re-examined the primary data and have not adequately accessed more recent archaeological finds; many of which are unpublished or are published in Arabic.

In my paper I will be showing how an interdisciplinary approach is needed to re-assess the presence of camels in pre-Roman and Roman Tunisia. I will look at biometrical analyses of fossil and modern camel specimens and show how the robust nature of the camel bones may be due to a bias in the collected data. I will present a database of archaeological evidence for camels in Tunisia and will reveal that although all the literature states that there are no prehistoric depictions of camels in Tunisia this may no longer be the case. In conclusion, this paper will critically examine the presence and importance of the camel in pre-Roman and Roman Tunisia and will shed new light on the neglected issue of camel domestication in North Africa.

CV: Sarah holds a BA in Archaeology and an MSc (Morphological Adaptations to Diet in Extant Suids); both from the University of Liverpool. She was a lecturer at the University of Tunis for four years and spent her holidays living with camel herders in Southern Tunisia. In 2011 she gained an Advanced Diploma from the University of Cambridge (The Camel in Tunisia: Human Society, Economy and Culture from 10,000 B.C. to Historic times). She is a team member of the University of Cambridge ArchaeoLink and continues to carry out part time research into the archaeology of rural Tunisia.


The wild camel – future prospects
John Hare [Wild Camel Protection Foundation]

ABSTRACT: John Hare will outline the work that is currently underway in China and Mongolia to protect their populations of wild camels. He will emphasise current threats in both countries and how his charity, the Wild Camel Protection Foundation is combating these threats nationally and internationally. He will also give details of the first release of wild camels from the WCPF breeding centre in Mongolia, which will take place in September of this year. Further information will be given of an international awareness-raising programme to make people aware of the remarkable wild camel and its struggle to survive in the Gobi desert,

Establishing the relationship between infrared images and heart rate as a potential indicator of metabolic activity in the dromedary camel (Camelus dromedarius)
Heather Longhorn [University of Guelph, Department of Animal and Poultry Science, Guelph, Ontario, Canada]

ABSTRACT: As concerns rise over global climate change altering the biomes, and the possibility of spreading desertification, there is the potential for the camel to become a very prominent and successful livestock species worldwide. The goal of the present research is to provide a simpler method of measuring metabolic activity in the dromedary camel and to determine the major route of heat dissipation within this species. Eight camels were equipped with heart rate monitors on moderately active and low activity days. Thermal images, heart rate readings, ambient air temperature, humidity, wind speed and the presence of direct solar radiation were recorded. The results of a random regression demonstrated that, of the areas observed, the surface temperature of the thigh was the most closely associated with heart rate. The thigh and lower abdomen were also noted as being the largest continuous areas of heat loss based on infrared images, while the axilliary region demonstrated the greatest increase in heat dissipation as activity and ambient air temperature increased. These results exhibit positive evidence for further research into the use of infrared images as predictors of metabolic activity in dromedary camels.

CV: I graduated with an honours degree in Zoology from the University of Guelph in 2011. In 2012, I graduated with a master's degree in Animal Science from the Department of Animal and Poultry Science at the University of Guelph. During the Spring of 2012, I took over as Head Keeper at the Bowmanville Zoo, and was able to learn how to handle their group of dromedary camels in order to conduct my research.

Refocusing on the dromedary: A photographic account of its virtues and contribution to food security in the Nigeria–Niger corridor
D.J.U. Kalla* and A.M. Abdussamad**

ABSTRACT: The dromedary camel (Camelus dromedarius) was domesticated primarily as a beast of burden and still occupies a valuable economic and ecological niche in arid and semi arid agriculture. Dromedary rearing is a common activity in the Nigeria – Niger border areas. The importance of dromedaries in the study area arises primarily from its provision of milk and meat within the subsistence economy. The camel can be used for transportation of belongings when pastoral families relocate to new areas and also in fetching water to pastoral homesteads for household utilization. Other uses include complementary roles in ploughing farm lands and transporting farm produce thereby guaranteeing social harmony between crop and animal farmers. With the aid of photographs and informal interviews, this paper focuses on the virtues, contributions, challenges and future prospects of camel production in the study area. It also suggests ways to harness the potentials of the dromedary to ensure food security and environmental sustainability.

CV: Demo Joab Usman KALLA (BSc, MSc and PhD Animal Science) is a senior lecturer and team leader of the Camel Research Group. His research interests include camel physiology with bias on reproduction, nutrition and welfare. Current project: “The potential use of some plant wax compounds (n-alkanes, long chain fatty alcohols and long chain fatty acids) as camel diet composition markers”.

CV: Abdussamad Muhammad ABDUSSAMAD (DVM, MAgric) is a lecturer with the Department of Animal Science, Bayero University Kano, Nigeria and currently on PhD study fellowship at the Georg-August University Goettingen, Germany. His research interests are adaptation physiology and livestock production systems with emphasis on camels, domestic ruminants and the giant African land snails.

*Camel Research Group, Animal Production Programme, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, P.M.B.0248, Bauchi, Bauchi State, Nigeria 740001


** Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Bayero University, PMB 3011, Kano, Kano State, Nigeria


Promotion of innovative systems in Camel breeding for sustainable development in Egypt and Tunisia: The ENPI CBC MED “PROCAMED” project
*Monaco D.1, Lacalandra G.M.1, El Bahrawy K.A.2, Khorchani T3, Hammadi M.3, Faye B.4

ABSTRACT: The “Procamed Project” is a research project included in the operational framework of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) of the "Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme". The program aims at reinforcing cooperation between the European Union (EU) and partner countries regions placed along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.

Its objective aims to find responses to the main limits of the camel sector in arid and semiarid lands: low productivity of the camel breeding system, low quality/value of its productions (milk, meat, leather, hair), degradation of pastures, lack of innovation on the production system, poor research on products innovation and lack of durable and innovative production/market chains.

Four Research Institutes are involved in the project: CIRAD (Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement, France), IRA (Institut des Régions Arides - Laboratoire d’élevage et de la faune sauvage, Tunisia), DRC (Desert Research Center, Egypt) and D.E.T.O. (University of Bari, Italy).

The project is contributing to the targets of the program i.e. The promotion of socio-economic development and enhancement of territories by supporting innovation and research for promoting the local development process of Mediterranean Sea Basin Countries.

*corresponding author

1 Department of Emergency and Organs Transplantation (D.E.T.O.), Section of Veterinary Clinic and animal Productions, University of Bari, Italy;
2 Desert Research Center (DRC), Artificial Insemination Lab. Alexandria, Egypt;
3 Institut des Régions Arides (IRA), Laboratoire d’élevage et de la Faune Sauvage, Medenine, Tunisia;
4 Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement, (CIRAD), Montpellier, France.

Study of camel production system and hair processing in Iran
M. Salehi - A.A.Gharadaghi*

ABSTRACT: To preserve and utilize natural resources appropriately and accurately, it is necessary to first consider the development of  knowledge in the field of natural resources and their restoring as well as selection of the proper animals for grazing in the pastures. Since almost all Iran pastures are categorized into medium (41.4%) and poor, unproductive and relatively salty (48.2) pastures, it is difficult to choose domesticated livestock suitable for breeding in these regions in which nothing grows but salt-growing, bland and thorny plants. Economical capabilities of camel's products, including meat in providing a part of protein needs of urban and rural societies; providing a part of raw materials of textile industry including skin and fibers; and also providing a part of work force in agriculture will provide enough motivation for researchers, who think about alternative agriculture or stable agriculture, and will justify the execution of research projects in the field of  productivity specially fibers product of this animal. Thus, attempts in the field of knowing this product in terms of different production regions in the state and differences generated in the quality of these fibers according to various management and breeding cases and its important role in grading and categorizing are of the cases that can be useful in standardization of raw fibers and resultant merchandise. Moreover, paying attention to maintain rural handicrafts resulted from this initial material, developing and improving weaving methods in rural levels of desert areas which help produce the side incomes is of great importance in this respect. Therefore, current camel production and hair consumption studies were undertaken using field method and questioner form was completed by 23 camel owned and 2 small local cottage industries from 8 provinces of Iran. Results indicated that in some providence (Khorasan, Boushher, Semnan and some areas of Sistan & Balucestan), camel hair is sheared using double blade hand shearing device. In other providences (Hormozgan, Golestan and some areas of Sistan & Baluchestan) camel calves are sheared even through these calves are sold without shearing. In many areas of Iran, including Sistan & Baluchestan, Kerman, Hormozgan, adult camels are sheared infrequently and camel calves are sheared in the beginning year (April), but in Semnan, Golestan and Khorasn providences shearing takes place in mid to late spring (late April and May). Most hair sheared is used locally by farmers. Dehaird cashmere is double price of raw hair and the special cashmere for making Abaya is four times higher than the raw hair. Other uses for camel hair are to make carpet, tent, rope and gloves but it is commonly used to make Abaya in certain area such as Naien, Boushehr and Khozestan. Presently the Abaya in these areas is subsiding due to social-economic reasons. Camel milk and meat is sold rarely and is mainly used by camel owners. One reason for this is the distance from meat abattoirs and centers. Main income of camel farming is from selling camel calves at the age of one or two years old.

CV: I have been member of science of Animal Science Research Institute (Animal Product Department) from 1983 and also member of  ISOCARD. I have done 3 projects and 1 national  research project about camels especially on fiber, skin and leather of camels (camelus dromedarius and bactrianus of Iran). I have 50 published papers for these in journals and proceedings.

*Department of Animal Products Animal Science Research Institute
Agricultural Research & Education Organization Ministry of Jihad-e-Agriculture
Tehran, Iran

E-mail:  or

Camel milk for diabetes and cow’s milk allergy: Present knowledge and future prospects
M.G. Smits, MD PhD [European Camel Research Society]

ABSTRACT: Background: To summarize the present knowledge of the health claims of camel milk as to diabetes and cow’s milk allergy we searched PubMed database for relevant studies and report ongoing human studies.

Results: An epidemiological study showed a much lower prevalence of diabetes in an area with mainly camel milk consumption than in an area with mainly cow’s milk consumption. In Diabetes I patients camel milk intake resulted in improved blood glucose levels while less insulin was needed. Furthermore 0.5 liter camel milk consumption once induced lower glucose responses than cow’s milk.

Camel milk was a good alternative for cow’s milk in patients with severe cow’s milk allergy. The characteristics of tunnel-frozen, home-frozen and camel milk powder did not differ from those of fresh raw camel milk. The glycaemic index (GI) of camel milk is lower than that of cow’s milk. The GI of fresh camel milk and spray-dried camel milk powder did not differ. In the Netherlands a clinical randomized controlled trial (RCT) in patients with proven cow’s milk allergy is going and an RCT in diabetes Type I and II is being prepared. The interim results will be presented.

CV: M.G. Smits is the coordinator of Dutch Camel (milk) research. He is Director of Research of the Dutch Camel Dairy, in Berlicum, the Netherlands ( Furthermore he is neurologist at the Gelderse Vallei Hospital in Ede and is involved in several studies on health aspects of nutrition, performed together with Wageningen University & Research Centre.

As chairman of the European Camel Research society he is involved in the stimulation of research of all aspects of camels and their products in Europe.

Conservation of camel genetic resources: Epididymal sperm recovery
F. Turri1, O.M. Kandil2, A.S. Abdoon2, H. Sabra2, A. El Atrash2, F. Pizzi1

ABSTRACT: Camels represent part of the Arab heritage. The interest in developing assisted reproductive technologies and cryobanking for the conservation of animal genetic resources has recently increased. However, semen collections in camelids present many problems as sitting position during copulation, slow ejaculation and difficult animal handling. In these cases epididymal sperm from slaughtered or recently died animals will increase the opportunities to create semen storages. The present work was designed for assess motility of camel epididymal sperm extended in Ovixcell® and in Tris-fructose-egg yolk semen extender. Spermatozoa were extracted from 16 epididymides using the retrograde flushing technique, washing sperm cells in a retrograde direction from the ductus deferens through the cauda epididymidis with a syringe loaded with warmed (37°C) extender. Total motility was evaluated after 15 minute of incubation in a water bath at 37°C under phase-contrast microscopy using a pre-warmed (37°C) Makler Chamber. Total motility was similar in Ovixcell® or Tris-fructose-egg yolk semen extender (52.8 ± 0.7% vs 41.22 ± 33.56%, respectively). Further studies aiming to the test the fertilizing capacity should be carried out in order to confirm the optimal testicles storage condition for the creation of semen cryo storages in camels.

CV: Federica Turri, Phd in Animal Science in 2012, post-doc position at Institute of Agricultural Biology and Biotechnology, National Research Council, Lodi, Italy.
Fields of activities: semen and epididymal sperm collection, evaluation and cryopreservation in bull, camel, goat, pig and sheep species, for the creation of farm animal genetic resources cryobank to preserve animal biodiversity.

1Institute of Agricultural Biology and Biotechnology, Lodi Unit, National Research Council, c/o Parco Tecnologico Padano, 26900 Lodi, Italy.
2Department of Animal Reproduction and Artificial Insemination, Veterinary Research Division, National Research Centre, Dokki 12622, Cairo, Egypt


The conference is open to all members of the University and the general public.
The cost of registration is £30 per person, and £10 for students and unwaged.
[If for any reason you cannot afford to pay, please tell us.]
Admission for SOAS staff and students is free, but pre-registration is required.
Registration for presenters of papers is free.

All conference enquiries to:


William Gervase Clarence-Smith, Conference Chair
Ed Emery, Conference organiser

Organiser: Ed Emery

Contact email: