Llamas evolved in the harsh environment of the High Andes so caring for them in Australasian conditions is relatively problem free.
LLAMAS & ALPACAS
Minimum Standards of Care are mandatory to llama and alpaca survival and humane treatment. These are the most basic requirements that all llamas and alpacas must have for physical well-being. This publication is intended as simple minimum requirements for the use of animal control officers and government officials investigating questionable llama and alpaca care situations.
1. WATER, FEED, NUTRITION: Animals should have continuous access to fresh, cool drinking water and access to nourishing feed adequate to sustain life and health.
2. SHELTER: Animals should have natural or man-made shelter that enables them to find relief from extreme weather conditions. The sheltered area must allow for the ability to stand, lie down, rest and reasonably move about. Efficient ventilation and protection from sunlight and rain is essential
in tropical climates.
3. MOBILITY: Animals should have a living area through which they can move freely and exercise independently. Yards must be well-drained with dry areas to permit animals to sit down and rest away
from the elements.
4. NEGLECT: Animals should have a physical appearance free from signs of serious neglect. Signs of serious neglect may include such things as crippled ambulation due to severely curled toenails, in grown halters, or living conditions not meeting the minimums listed above.
5. SAFETY: Animals should be reasonably safeguarded from injury or death within their defined living environment and/or when travelling.
6. CRUELTY: Animals should be reasonably safeguarded from cruel treatment and actions that endanger life or health or cause avoidable suffering.
7.S OCIALIZATION: Llamas and alpacas are herd animals and should not live alone without a companion animal. A cria (a baby llama or alpaca under six months) should not be raised apart from other llamas or alpacas.
8. SHEARING: Most llamas and all alpacas need to be shorn each year. Some short-wooled llamas may shed enough fleece so that shearing is not necessary each year, but none should be left over-
fleeced in the heat.
9. BASIC HUSBANDRY: Teeth and toenails may need to be kept trimmed. Local veterinarians can give advice regarding vaccinations for common diseases and injections and drenches for parasite protection.
10. DIET CHANGE: Changes to diet should be gradually introduced over several days to avoid digestive problems that may lead to more serious health conditions.
11. PREDATORS: Fencing needs to be adequate to keep out predators.
This document has been prepared by the Llama Association of Australasia, Inc. for the use of animal welfare organizations and individuals seeking information on minimum care for llamas and alpacas.
Medicine and Surgery of South American Camelids, Murray Fowler, D.V.M., Ph.D.; Second Edition; Iowa State University Press/Ames, 1998.
Caring for Llamas and Alpacas, A Health and Management Guide, Claire Hoffman, DVM, Ingrid Asmus; Rocky Mountain Llama and Alpaca Association, Inc.; Second Edition, November 2000.