With an estimated 150,000 animals across the country, Australia’s alpaca industry plays an important role in Australia’s livestock value chain, which is why preventing and controlling diseases in Australia’s South American camelid population is critical.
Animal Health Australia (AHA) and the Australian Alpaca Association have developed a tool in the fight against disease, with the introduction of the National South American Camelid Declaration and Waybill.
Animal Health Australia’s Biosecurity Officer, Rob Barwell says alpaca owners will be able to use this document in the same way as the existing National Animal Health Statements are already helping to protect thousands of cattle, goat and sheep producers across the country.
“Anyone who owns alpacas, whether they manage large commercial herds or have just a few, is encouraged to use this Declaration whenever they are selling, moving or showing their animals.
“Equally, it is just as important for owners/producers looking to purchase a new animal, as they should ask for a signed and completed Declaration and Waybill before accepting the animals.
“The document requires the owner of the animals to accurately and honestly detail a herds’ disease and movement history and list the animals they are selling or moving. By doing this they are giving the person accepting the animals a better chance of measuring their own risks of introducing a new disease onto their property,” Dr Barwell said.
“Whilst the Declaration and Waybill adds another level of protection to owners/producers, it is important that it be used in conjunction with effective on-farm biosecurity measures to give them the best chance of avoiding diseases, pests and weeds coming on to their property,” Dr Barwell said.
“Whenever animals are brought onto a property, even if they are returning from agistment or a show, they should ideally be quarantined for a period of 21 days before joining the existing herd.
“Producers should also monitor their new or returning stock for signs of disease and ensure that the vehicles they have travelled on are clean and when animals are leaving the property they should be checked to see that they are in good health.
And Llamas too! The National South American Camelid Declaration and Waybill can also be used for Australia’s llama population as llamas are also a species of South American camelid.
For more on farm biosecurity click here.
First published in Leading Agriculture Issue 9