John & Susan Merrell
41390 Hwy 226
Scio, OR 97374
503-551-7219 (cell)
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Health Papers

Health Papers are required for the inter-State transfer if alpacas, and are usually required for any shows that the animals are taken to. Since many alpaca sales take place across State lines, it is important to understand this subject.

Just like any other livestock, alpacas must be certified healthy before they can legally travel across state lines or to alpaca events. This is done to protect your animals and to prevent anyone from introducing disease into a state which has been declared "free" of that disease. It would be disastrous to bring an animal which was ill to an event where many other alpacas, other animals or people may be exposed to the disease. The other reason for testing is to protect yourself. Because alpacas are relatively new to the livestock world, they are often the first animals blamed for any problems which develop. Documenting that your alpacas were free of disease before you left the farm will help protect you from accusations.

A veterinarian must examine any livestock before travel. Once the alpacas are determined to be free of disease and up to date on vaccinations a health certificate is issued by the examining veterinarian. alpacas which are travelling should be vaccinated for Tetanus and Clostridium types C and D (CD Tet) and Rabies. Other vaccines may be warranted depending on the destination and disease prevalence there. Always ask your veterinarian if any other vaccinations are necessary.

Laboratory tests may also be required to document the health of your travelling alpaca(s). Which tests are done depends upon your destination and the current year. Each state has different testing requirements for alpacas. These tests may include:

  • Tuberculosis Test (skin test)
  • Brucellosis Test (blood test)
  • Blue Tongue (blood test)
  • Anaplasmosis (blood test)

Always always check with your veterinarian to find out the requirements for alpacas in the state you are travelling to before submitting blood for the tests. These requirements may change from year to year so it is always worth the time to double check. Do not rely on health requirements listed in show books. Mistakes have been made and you are ultimately responsible for how your alpacas are tested. Many of the tests take a couple of days to a week and if you are missing a test at the last minute, you will not be travelling with your alpacas.

Once the test results are in, the results and the health certificate(s) are taken or sent to the State Veterinarian to be certified complete and properly done. Health certificates and test results are not valid for travel without having been processed by your State Animal Health Department. This allows states to keep track of interstate transport of livestock and monitor any introduction of disease. These regulations may sometimes be a nuisance to you, but remember that it is for the protection of your animals too! Many states are free of these diseases thanks to testing and monitoring of livestock transport.

Plan ahead and avoid headaches. Check the most current requirements for any state which you are travelling to at the USDA.

Alpaca Sales

"I feel that it is my duty to pull them tenderly but firmly back by the little alpaca coat-tails whenever they have made mistakes --to reprove them in all gentleness when I find them fanning..."

- William Brann
Brann the Iconoclast
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