- Transporting alpacas for showing, for breeding, or as a service to marketing, is certainly a component of the “alpaca lifestyle.” Drive into any alpaca ranch and you usually will find some type of trailer parked near the barn.
- Alpacas must be transported using suitable and appropriate vehicles. NLIS has not yet put regulations in place for the movement of alpacas throughout the country however the need for identification, tracking and regulating movement has been identified and draft rules have been published. Alpacas used in schools will often need to be transported to shows and to other properties. It is important to understand the risks involved in transporting alpacas and to be aware of aspects of transportation that may cause stress to the animals so that measures can be taken to make transport as pleasant and safe as possible.
- Alpacas are generally cooperative travelers, which often leads alpacas owners to believe moving alpacas is simple. Not so. Transporting alpacas (especially for any distance) is an activity that shouldn't be undertaken lightly. Whether or not an alpaca shows signs of stress, traveling is stressful for most alpacas. Here are eight tips essential to the safe transport of alpacas.
- We transport alpacas all around New Zealand, and with importing and exporting, all around the world. We usually provide a bed of hay for our alpacas to travel in. It is a comfortable place to sit, something to eat en route, and also a good distraction to get their attention and keep them in the float once loaded. Alpacas are placid travellers, usually sitting down once the vehicle starts moving, and when the motion stops, they stand up to look around. Unlike horses, which stand to travel and are tied with a lead on their halter, do not tie alpacas for travel.
- You may think you will not be transporting an animal and do not need to be bothered with other state's regulations. But you can be transporting an animal for many reasons, and need to be aware of all that is involved. If you are going to a show, transporting one for a purchase or sell, or to leave for a breeding, you will need to know that each state has specific regulations and how to find out what those regulations are for where you are going.
- The methods of transporting alpacas are as varied as the people who own them! Whatever means you use to transport your alpacas, safety and welfare of the animals is of paramount importance. This means open stock trailers, or trucks with open stock crates are unsuitable, as they cannot tolerate the wind chill effect, and may suffer from hypothermia (potentially fatal), or may be able to jump out of the trailer. Covered stock trailers, however, are ideal, as they can be designed specifically for the transport alpaca. Caution: when loading alpacas into a vehicle or trailer using a loading ramp, the gap between the loading ramp and the floor of the trailer is wide enough for an alpaca leg to slip into – resulting in a broken leg. Such gaps should be covered or have a piece of wood etc slipped into the gap so the alpaca cannot slip through.
- When I first got into alpacas I moved them around in my 2 horse bumper pull trailer. After all I was a horse person first and it’s what I had. However it became apparent that a different mode of transporting alpacas was needed with the crazy gas prices now days. Hitching up a 2,000 pound trailer (which is not the most aerodynamic) to haul around a 120lb animal to be bred or to the vet is not economically friendly.