Alpaca (Vicugna pacos) is a domesticated species of South American camelid, resembling a small llama in appearance. Alpacas were first introduced into Australia in 1989. By 2001 there were approximately 40,000 alpacas in Australia. Alpacas in Australia are generally farmed for their fine fleece, but they are also used as guard animals for sheep flocks. Generally, alpaca herds in Australia consist of ten or fewer animals.
Legislation, regulations and standards
In addition to seeking advice from professional advisers, a person in charge of alpacas should be aware of the various Codes of Practice, which set out the minimum husbandry standards for various animal species, or for animals subject to procedures where their welfare may be at risk.
Management for alpaca owners
There are many important responsibilities associated with owning and farming alpacas. These pages provide general information about maintaining good production systems and caring for alpacas in your care.
Forward planning will greatly reduce the amount of animal and human suffering in any emergency situation. The following information is offered as the basis of a plan to plan and cope with floods, drought and other situations.
Health and welfare of alpacas
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals legislation aims to prevent cruelty to animals, encourage the considerate treatment of animals and improve community awareness about the prevention of cruelty to animals. Provisions relating to alpacas include requirements to provide proper and sufficient food, water, shelter and veterinary treatment and offences for causing pain or suffering to an animal, whether intentionally or through neglect.
This page provides a series of industry links to provide you with further information about maintaining and caring for your alpacas.