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How to Safely Transport Alpacas

Updated: Oct 23, 2023


What do I need to know before transporting alpacas?

Check out our blog on handling and halter training your alpacas, as this will cover the first steps you need to take before transporting your herd, such as catching your alpacas and putting on headcollars if required.



What vehicle is best for transporting alpacas?

Horseboxes, cow trailers or specially modified vans are commonly used for transporting alpacas. The trailer should be large enough for the alpaca to walk into and stand, as well as having lots of light and adequate ventilation. A non-slip floor should be present or, if this is not the case, rubber matting can be put down to aid grip. An appropriate ramp should be available for loading and unloading the alpacas in a safe manner. Hygiene is an important factor, so the flooring and walls of the trailer should be solid and washable, to allow for disinfecting between each transit. Typically, straw is put down to provide comfort, as well as helping to soak up any urine during transport.



Do alpacas need movement forms when being transported?

Unlike cows, sheep and goats, official paperwork is not currently a legal requirement when moving alpacas. However, it is recommended to keep a log of the dates, times, journey lengths, animal IDs, vehicle registration, start and end points and quarantine measures as carried out for your records as part of a responsible herd health plan and biosecurity measures.



Should I give my alpaca hay whilst transporting them?

If the journey is brief, your alpacas will not require hay, but if you are planning a long journey, you will need to plan to stop regularly to provide water, hay and feed as needed. (Don't forget that law dictates animals can only travel up to a maximum of 8 hours in any 24-hour period, so make sure you do not exceed this.) Hay nets should never be used whilst transporting alpacas as there is a risk of them becoming entangled, leading to strangulation.



What equipment do I need to carry with me when transporting alpacas?

Always carry a bucket, water, food, headcollars and leashes when transporting alpacas, in case of a breakdown or emergency, so that you can provide feed and water to the alpacas and move them safely if needed.



Do alpacas travel loose?

Alpacas like to sit down in a cush position when travelling, so an alpaca should never be tied during the journey.



How long can alpacas travel for?

Law dictates animals can only travel up to a maximum of 8 hours in any 24-hour period and any transportation exceeding this needs a long distance travel passport. Although the The Welfare of Animals (Transport) Order 1997 is not specifically aimed at alpacas, this is the rule followed when transporting alpacas.


Can I move pregnant alpacas?

Transporting pregnant females within the first 60 days and last 60 days of pregnancy should be avoided to reduce the risk of stress-related EED (Early Embryonic Death) or abortion. Moving female alpacas that have just given birth and their cria (baby alpaca) should also be avoided wherever possible to avoid stress and ensure the cria has had sufficient time to drink; cria will not be able to suckle during transit as alpacas like to sit down in a cush position when travelling, which will block access to the teats.


Disclaimer: Fostings Alpacas are not a veterinarian body. Always consult your vet when creating a health plan for your herd and before transporting to ensure animals are in a fit state to travel.



Featured Image Source: Ifor Williams Trailers

 

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