New Arrivals To Expand Local Llama Gene Pool

NSW Nationals

The first llamas to arrive in Australia in decades are making themselves at home after clearing quarantine.

The five llamas flew into Australia from Chicago, spending 24 hours in the air, and were housed at the Mickleham Post Entry Quarantine facility in Victoria, which is the only centre in Australia equipped to house camelids in quarantine after they arrive from overseas.

A camelid is a member of the Camelidae family, which includes camels, llamas, and alpacas.

Justine Saunders, Deputy Secretary of Biosecurity and Compliance at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, welcomed the five llamas.

“This is an exciting development for Australia’s budding llama population made possible by our robust animal biosecurity system,” Ms Saunders said.

Every year we import an array of creatures, ensuring they can safely and sustainably join Australia’s menagerie of wondrous biodiversity. All animals are monitored for illness, tested for exotic diseases, and monitored by vets during their stay.”

Importer Jane Ackland, of Everlong Llamas, said she selected these animals for their quality and genetic diversity.

She said llamas haven’t entered Australia from the USA since the mid-1990s.

“They will bring a unique and transformative change to my llama breeding program here in Wamboin,” Ms Ackland said.

Wamboin is between Canberra and Bungendore.

The llamas underwent blood tests for diseases such as bluetongue virus, epizootic haemorrhagic disease and brucellosis, and were protected from insects that could transmit diseases of concern during their 30 days of pre-export quarantine in the USA. They did further blood tests 14 days after their arrival in Australia and were only released from biosecurity control upon negative results and a final veterinary health inspection.

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