Keep the
dromedary camel in
the Netherlands

Short summary

The Advisory Board for the ‘domestic and hobby animal list’ has excluded the dromedary (Camelus dromedarius) from the list, as they claim that this species is not domesticated, though the bactrian camel and alpaca are. This means that starting from the 1st of January 2024 no more dromedaries can be bred in The Netherlands.


Camel Dairy farm Smits is a worldwide example for rearing dromedaries in the most animal friendly and natural way possible. Every year thousands of tourists come to visit the farm. Hundreds of consumers drink the camel milk and eat the camel dairy products. Several farm workers enjoy daily to take care of the animals; they are even part of a care farm with clients working with them.


Though experts have claimed that the dromedary is domesticated for thousands of years, the Advisory Board will not change their opinion. Therefore, we ask everybody to sign the petition and keep the dromedary in The Netherlands.


Click here to sign the petition! Many thanks in advance of our entire team and the camels on Camel Dairy Farm Smits

Statement Camel Dairy farm Smits about the ‘domestic and hobby animal list’ in The Netherlands

In The Netherlands, starting from the 1st of January 2024, only 30 mammals can be kept in captivity. Out of more than 300 mammals, only these 30 have been selected, as the purpose is to improve animal welfare by only allowing these species of mammals to be reared and bred. The dromedary (Camelus dromedarius) is not on this list, though other Camelids as the Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus) and alpaca (Lama pacos) are. This is due to the opinion of this lists’ Advisory Board that the dromedary is not domesticated. However, worldwide experts claim that the dromedary is surely is domesticated for decades, like the Bactrian camel and the alpaca. We have discussed this with the Advisory Board, however, they will not change their opinion.


This means that the future of Camel Dairy farm Smits is uncertain. Over more than 15 years we keep camels (dromedaries) for their dairy production. The camels produce sufficient milk for their own calves and for us, as we take good care of them. Every year, hundreds of consumers buy the camel milk and camel milk products. The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) is promoting camel milk due to the benefits of this milk. The production process of this milk is according to the highest standards worldwide.


The camels are kept in the most natural and animal friendly way possible: calves drink their mothers’ milk daily, camels walk in the pasture and get the best feed they can, the stables are adapted to the animals and the milking process is one of the few systems worldwide that allows calves to stay with their mothers during milking. People from all over the world come to visit the camel farm to see how this works. Besides, yearly thousands of tourists visit the farm to be in touch with these friendly animals and learn more about farm life.


The decision not to add the dromedary to the ‘domestic and hobby animal list’ is not only based on the wrong assumption about domestication, but also ignores this international successful example of rearing these animals at the Camel Dairy farm Smits. The purpose of this list, to improve animal welfare, is not served with excluding the dromedary from the list. Furthermore; dromedaries can be kept all over the world, without taking the animal welfare into account. Camel Dairy farm Smits supports the idea of improving the welfare of the dromedary and is doing everything possible to bring that in practice. Therefore, we ask everybody to share this statement, sign the petition and bring attention to this case, so we can give the dromedaries a better life in the next decades at Camel Dairy farm Smits.


Click here to sign the petition! Many thanks in advance of our entire team and the camels on Camel Dairy Farm Smits

De kamelen