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Fears after alpacas contract TB

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15 July 2009 - BBC News

An alpaca farmer in Cornwall has had to have four of her animals put down after they tested positive for Bovine TB.

Under Defra rules, there is no legal requirement for alpacas to be tested for the disease.

Dianne Summers, who lives near Redruth, said "I've been through two lots of skin testing already, but unfortunately we keeping getting false negatives,". She said she can understand why other alpaca and llama owners are reluctant to have their herds tested. "It could close their business down for 180 days, but you've got a moral and ethical duty to the people you're selling animals to, or if you're attending shows or offering matings you've got to think about their animals and not just your own."

Alpacas have little resistance to TB and can die within six months of catching it.

Ms Summers, who has no cattle on her land and is not aware of any badger setts, said she does not know how her alpacas contracted Bovine TB.

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