Silverstream have been importing alpacas from Australia since 2001 - on the way there have been some valuable lessons to be learn't. We always spend considerable time researching the genetics of any alpaca before contacting the Australian breeder to organise a visit.
For new entrants it is too easy to be swayed by a young animal with a full fleece - a good animal is one that is conformationally correct and that does not blow out in micron on its 2nd, 3rd or later fleeces. For us an animal must have a very soft handle with minimal guard hair. It is critical that you look at the dam and sire if possible. If the dam is soft and has a low micron, my curiosity is immediately arroused. It has been our experience that our best offspring come from dams that do not blow out in micron year after year.
Anyone contemplating the importation of alpacas into New Zealand from Australia, needs to be aware of the pitfalls and cost of such an exercise. Just some of the points to consider:
- 30 day Australian quarantine prior to export
- Crias must be no younger than 3 months of age when shipped
- Females must not be in the last trimester of pregnancy
- Animals must be drenched and fully shorn before entering quarantine
- Delays of up to three months booking the Australian quarantine station and securing flights to New Zealand.
- Limited flights across the Tasman for the export of animals
- Quarantine costs including veterinarian fees in Australia
- Possible on-farm agistment fees in Australia prior to entering quarantine
- Documentation ? health certificates and import permit, GST payable on purchase and freight costs upon arrival in New Zealand
- Coordination and implementation of agistment, quarantine, freight & customs
- Cost of importation
Containers normally take 10 to 12 animals &; to import less animals per container increases the cost per animal. If there is a mixture of dams and sires, they need to be separated, thereby reducing the number of animals per container. During quarantine in Australia animals are blood tested for diseases and internal and external parasites. A permit must be obtained from MAF in Wellington, stating the number of alpacas, identification numbers and details of the Australian arrangements.
Breeders need to be aware that it is not uncommon for an animal to be rejected by the authorities during quarantine and the whole process has to start again.
Finally before you purchase animals overseas, make sure you cannot get the same quality or genes in NZ.It will be cheaper purchasing animals in New Zealand and there is less chance of losing a pregnancy.
Quarantine is a stressful time and it is to be expected that pregnancies will be lost. Use importing to secure your rare genetics and not to make a fast buck - it is not that easy and there are many pitfalls.
For further information refer to: Importing Alpacas and llamas from Australia. Silverstream Alpaca Stud has established contacts with some of the leading alpaca stud farms in Australia.
We are happy to share our knowledge with potential purchasers.
Can we assist you with your purchase requirements?