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Seasons Greetings to all our BLS members


Health & Welfare Bulletin No.49 - Various - Winter reminders

Dear BLS Member

1. Although I am no longer your Health & Welfare Officer, I don’t wish to sever all ties so
I thought I would remind those of you who need reminding, of things to take note of at
this time of year.

2. Due to the mild wet weather we have all been experiencing, please keep an eye out
for liver fluke. Keep a good eye on your animals and look out for abnormal behavior
such as progressive loss of body condition, anemia, pale membranes and, in severe
cases, swelling below the jaw. Liver Fluke is easily treated so keep your eyes open
for signs. If you are worried, please talk to your vet. A simple fecal worm count for
Liver Fluke can be done by your vet if you are at all concerned.

3. Please ensure you register all your cria. A cria should be micro chipped at six months
old but that does not prevent you from registering the cria earlier. The Registrar can
provide you with a microchip for cost price, £4.15 each, when you send in your
registration form. You can then have the number on your registration certificate and
microchip your cria at a later date. It is very helpful to know how many animals there
are in the UK for health reasons. If a disease strikes, BLS can contact all its members
with advice and help. Please do not put off registering your animals.

4. The festive season is looming and I am sure some of you take your camelids to
Christmas gatherings. Please be bio-security conscious and remember to have the
correct insurance. I have always found a small container of hand disinfectant fixed to
my belt very useful when taking my llamas out to visit schools, homes or anywhere
else where I may meet the public.

5. In the rain and wind, please check your animals regularly, preferably two or three

times a day as camelids can suffer from hypothermia. The wind lifts up their coats
and the rain gets in. If your animal feels cold, try bringing it in under cover out of the
weather and you can offer it warm water to drink – NOT HOT!

6. Keep a keen eye on your animals’ feet. With the wet weather we have already had
this winter, with more forecasted to come, camelids can suffer with foot problems. If
you think there may be a problem, don’t wait to see if it clears up on its own. Get
professional advice from your vet as foot problems in camelids can take a long time to
get over if left for any length of time.

7. Don’t forget that if we end up having a long cold (freezing) spell, to check your
camelids are drinking. Some animals, especially the older ones, are not keen on
drinking freezing water. Just add a little warm water to their buckets. Always break
any ice in troughs so water is available at all times.

8. Autumn is a good time to give your camelids their annual vaccination. This will help
them get through what ever lies ahead as far as a bad winter is concerned.

9. Don’t forget, never use left over hard feed from last winter. The food can produce
toxins if kept for any length of time which can harm your animals.

10. Please think about ways you can raise money for the BLS Welfare Fund. All monies
raised is ring fenced especially for welfare of our beautiful animals.

11. Last but not least, may I take this opportunity to wish every one of you a VERY

Nutfield Park Farm, South Nutfield, REDHILL, Surrey RH1 5PA

19 November 2014

bTB and Compensation Update

From 1st October 2014 new legislation has come into effect in England that covers bTB testing in all South American camelids.
  If TB is suspected in your herd then DEFRA will impose immediate restriction and then, if TB is confirmed, have the right to enter a holding, use a priming skin test followed by two blood tests (10 days or so later) on all your camelids and then slaughter those camelids shown to be positive to TB by any one of the 3 tests. There will be a statutory compensation payment (£750) for those slaughtered animals. If bTB is found in your herd you no longer have the right to refuse entry to your property or refuse skin and blood testing of your animals.
  At this point in time the only two blood tests which will be used by DEFRA/AHVLA in the event of a confirmed TB breakdown are the Stat Pak and IDEXX tests. The Stat Pak is soon to be replaced by the new DPP test which works in a very similar way to Stat Pak.
As you know BLS has been working with BAS to promote a voluntary surveillance testing regime where camelid owners can pay to have their animals tested using a combination of the Stat-Pak and Idexx tests (both to be positive for an animal to be deemed infected) or a single Enferplex test. In both cases priming about 10 days before by a skin test is desirable since this makes the blood tests more sensitive. Such a test protocol can also be used as a pre-movement or pre-export test. The chance of a false positive with these combinations of tests is almost zero. These tests are available now should members want to use them. Your vet should be approached to take the blood samples and organise the tests.
Note that the DEFRA test regime to be used in a herd suspected of having TB is more stringent with any test being positive being grounds for slaughter. This is so that as many animals that might have TB can be identified and removed as quickly as possible to minimise spread to others in the herd. The chance of a false positive is greater under these conditions.
BAS and BLS are working together to encourage DEFRA to offer the Enferplex test as a choice for the mandatory test if a herd is confirmed with TB. As yet DEFRA are resisting this despite the offer of funding to set the VLA up with the required test equipment. A letter is about to be sent to the minister, George Eustace MP, asking for an explanation of DEFRA’s decision to exclude the Enferplex test and for that decision to be changed.
We will keep you informed as discussions progress. Note that Wales has its own regulations and that the Scottish Parliament has just announced a consultation on a plan to introduce very similar arrangements in Scotland to those just introduced in England.

The new English legislation can be viewed here
The Scottish Parliament is proposing similar legislation. Details of the Scottish consultation are here
Welsh legislation, already in place, can be found here
If you need any more information please contact
Tim Crowfoot Chairman, The British Llama Society Downholme, Northend Lane, Droxford, Southampton, SO32 3QN t: 01489 877631 e-mail:

Enferplex Test for Bovine TB

Update from the Chairman

The Enferplex Test for Bovine TB in camelids is launched by Surefarm
I attended the launch event for the new Enferplex test at Inca Alpacas near Dorset on 17th July. The test is now available for members to use via their veterinary practice. The test has been developed over the last several years by MV Diagnostics and Surefarm has worked in consultation with MV Diagnostics to offer the service.
The test looks for antigens to bTB in a blood sample drawn from the camelid. The test was one of a number of blood tests studied in research done by AHVLA sponsored by the camelid societies. It is fully endorsed by DEFRA.
The test is entirely voluntary and can be used for annual surveillance of a camelid herd, for pre-movement and for pre-export testing. The test has been shown to have a reasonable sensitivity and, very importantly, a very high specificity which means that the chance of a false positive is very very small. For full details of how the test works and how you can get your vet to perform the test are on the Surefarm website.

I asked about the cost of the test and this was quoted as £12 plus VAT and carriage. The testing must be organised through your vet who will extract the necessary blood samples from your animals which of course will also have to be paid for. At the launch the Inca Alpaca vet drew blood from 2 alpacas and made it look very easy!
BAS, BCL and BLS continue to work together with DEFRA/AHVLA to work up the protocols for the test process to be followed if a herd suffers a TB breakdown when DEFRA will mandate serological (blood antibody) testing in the future. Under these circumstances a more complex dual testing regime is proposed. The entirety of the new protocols are slated to be introduced from 1st October.
I will continue to keep you abreast of the situation as things develop but in the meantime a test is now available for you to use which is far superior to the skin test.
If any of you want any more information please look at the Surefarm website and do feel free to contact me a any time.
Tim Crowfoot

Chairman, The British Llama Society
Downholme, Northend Lane, Droxford,
Southampton, SO32 3QN
t: 01489 877631