This page and its internal links were set up at the time of the outbreak
and updated on a daily basis,to help llama owners during
the epidemic that swept the UK's sheep, cattle and pig industries in 2001.
contracted the disease although despite the huge efforts made to save them
by the llama fraternity, a number were slaughtered on farms where the
disease struck other livestock.
We have left the
information on our site for archive purposes. Some will be, or become, out
of date- - especially any external links.
have very low susceptibility to fmd.
Scientific experiments in South America have shown that
will only affect llamas if the virus is deliberately injected into them!
If allowed to cohabit with infected livestock under natural
conditions, these experiments have shown that llamas do
not succumb to the disease.
During the epidemic in the UK in 2001, to the best of our
knowledge no llamas contracted the disease, and when
tested on or near farms with livestock that do have the
disease, they have all tested negative.
"It may be that
llamas co-habiting with diseased livestock will not
or pass on foot-and-mouth, but if you inject the disease into
llamas they will contract it. Therefore they are susceptible".
So stated the then Ministry of Agriculture (now DEFRA). A classic
case of science and common sense diverging into opposite
FMD signs to watch for
Slaughter: Food for thought
This page began life
as a basic guide for our clients and website visitors. As fmd began
to grip the country and enquiries came in from across the nation, it
developed into an informal news/helpline. But as the disease spread,
increasing threats of unnecessary slaughter of camelids led
pro-active owners to form an
independent campaign group, CAUSAL - Campaign Against Unnecessary Slaughter of Alpacas and
CAUSAL now has its own website and provides information and help
required by camelid owners to deal with the developing situation.
Accordingly we have closed the active sections of this page and
are reverting back to basic information. We
would refer anyone interested in following the situation,
requiring the latest news, or needing help or advice to visit www.causal.org.uk.
The site also contains comprehensive details of scientific studies
relating to llamas and fmd, as well as important expert
are classified by the World Animal Health
Organisation as having
low susceptibility and low carrier status.
recommend that all
precautions recommended or imposed by the Ministry of Agriculture on cloven-hoofed animals (cattle, sheep, pigs, goats etc), be followed by
camelid owners irrespective of whether you have a herd or just one
Mixed farms or owners with
other livestock are urged to try to keep camelids entirely separate from other susceptible livestock and as far
apart as possible, with no contact of any sort between the two or
between those that look after each group. House them if you can.
fmd signs to watch for:
Anorexia, shivering, smacking of lips, mouth sores (possibly appearing
like the sheep disease orfe), grinding of teeth, kicking of
feet, foot lesions, lesions on toe underpads.
Check animals showing any lack
of usual vigour thoroughly
Experience with sheep shows
that they "hide" the symptoms much more than cattle and pigs.
It is very likely that camelids will do the same, especially given their
stoic nature and high threshold for bearing pain.
Call your vet or local Ministry of Agriculture office
if you have any
specific concerns or detailed questions.
UNNECESSARY SLAUGHTER OF ALPACAS & LLAMAS
the interests of all camelids and their owners
DEFRA (MAFF), together with updates on the current situation
and follow the link to fmd.
Subject to any licences
currently in force...
... do not remove your animals from
their current home if that involves their travelling on public highways
or across other farms.
... do not walk your llamas on
public highways or across other farms.
... DO keep all other
livestock susceptible to
fmd as far away from your llamas as possible.
a MAFF approved disinfectant on shoes, tyres etc, entering the vicinity of your
Renew it daily if you have sufficient to do so, and increase the strength in
This is more
easily done if you restrict all movement to one entrance only. (Farm shops will advise on the types
of disinfectant to use, or follow the MAFF
web links given below).
If you are unable
to obtain approved disinfectant then ask the farm shop to reserve you
some from their next batch.
In the interim, MAFF states, you can use
Soda (sodium carbonate) diluted one part sodium carbonate to 24 parts
Alternatively citric acid BP; one part citric acid to 500 parts
Never use washing soda and acid to disinfect the same
... If, without breaking
MAFF imposed or recommended restrictions, you can keep your llamas on land away from
footpaths etc, then so much the better.
... Opinion as to whether you
should house your animals is divided: free flowing air outside might be
better than trapped air...
HOWEVER - importantly, if your neighbour gets fmd
or other livestock on your land, MAFF consider you have a better chance
to avoid slaughter if your camelids are housed.
... minimise visitors to your home
and keep them away from your livestock.
Whilst the emergency exists, check
your camelids frequently.
If you physically handle them at any time, wash and disinfect afterwards.
Do not rush to suspend precautions
when the epidemic appears to be subsiding or over.
Allow sufficient time for
incubation to take place since the last reported case.
If you have any
information that might be of help or interest to camelid owners concerning
fmd, please contact us:
These notes are offered for guidance only. Views expressed are not necessarily those of
the website and we cannot take responsibility for any errors
or omissions or consequences in following suggestions. If in doubt seek
advice from your vet, local Ministry of Agriculture office or the
If you suspect any
animal as possibly having fmd, contact your vet or the Ministry of
It is an offence not to
report a suspected case of fmd