At an experimental farm, five camels and five cows were each given a similar basal diet for 6 months. They received oral trace element supplementation for 3 months (day 22 to 112) which included zinc, copper, selenium, manganese, iodine and cobalt and corresponded to twice the daily requirement generally recommended for cows. Plasma selenium concentrations were significantly lower in the camels (20 (s.e. 2) mg/l) compared with the cows (33 (s.e. 2) μg/l). The mineral supplementation induced a large increase in the plasma selenium concentration in the camels which reached 200 (s.e. 35) fig/l. In the cows, the increase was much smaller and did not go beyond 65 (s.e. 8) μg/l. Before supplementation the red blood cell glutathione peroxidase activity was similar in the camel and the cow varying between 4000 and 6000 IU per 100 g haemoglobin. In both species, this activity increased with mineral supplementation and remained very high even when mineral supplementation was stopped. The results suggested that selenium metabolism in camels is different from that in the cows.