Sue Loach – 18th July 2022

18 July 2022     British Alpaca Society     BAS Board

Well, its over halfway through the year and I am sure for a lot of us the birthing season is well underway with its joys and heartaches (well it certainly is here).  I thought it may be interesting to share a bit of a welfare update with you all.

We have had the usual complaints about unshorn alpacas (it is the same every year) and have managed to arrange shearing for several (we have 2 regular offenders who do not shear unless we arrange it for them!). There have been several calls for Alpacas that are on their own because their companion has died that we have had to find companions for, and a few older animals that have had to be rehomed because their owners are moving and cannot take them with them.

We have a couple of ongoing cases, one where a lady has 8 alpacas in her back garden, a mixture of males and females and cria, the garden is a terrible mess and we are facing a bit of a battle to get her to relinquish some of them, especially as she thinks they are worth millions!!

We had another where some females had been purchased, one of which was pregnant and had a male cria, who has subsequently impregnated his mother, the other females, then their cria (his daughters) and now potentially his half-sister who is also his daughter, with a bit of help from one of our local owners, this herd now has no males so hopefully the indiscriminate breeding won’t carry on.

All we can do is try and educate people the right way to care for, and mix their Alpacas, but it seems that for as many of us that try and sell people the right animals in to the right homes, there are as many who just sell with no regard to the consequences for the new owners or the poor alpacas.

We continue to monitor the welfare of the animals in a couple of trekking centres and some that are attractions at farm parks and garden centres, its twice as infuriating when these animals are not cared for correctly when their owners are profiteering from having them.

However, what is heart-warming is when we can make lives better for some of these animals and the lengths some of our members will go to to help Alpacas in need, we certainly couldn’t do it without them.”