29 November 1996

Foot-and-mouth fears for alpacas

ALPACAS exported from Chile, which claims to be free from foot and mouth disease (FMD), are testing positive for FMD antibodies.

The test results, and a recent visit by to Chile by a veterinary officer, have prompted Canada to ban imports of all camelids (alpacas, llamas, vicuna and guanacos) from Chile. Canada has also ordered the re-export of Chilean animals held at a Quebec quarantine station.

A consignment of 600 alpacas, recently imported into Britain from Chile has just been released from quarantine, and is now on offer for sale ]in the UK.

Canadian vets believe alpacas are either being illegally vaccinated against FMD, or are being moved over the border for export from Peru and Bolivia.

where FMD is still present. They found no clinical evidence of active FMD in Chile.