Ever since the alpaca became a popular lifestyle option they have been imported and exported all over the world from Peru, Chile and the USA. Now it seems there is a good deal of trading between countries like New Zealand, Australia, the UK and more. So things have taken their natural course and the alpaca industry has become truly global.
It started with alpacas being traded out of South America and in the Southern Hemisphere the first shipment of live alpaca landed in New Zealand 20 years ago and there it remained for many years. Investors from Australia purchased two thirds of this group and from that the Australian industry grew very quickly with many large imports from Chile. New Zealand grew slowly with few investors at the beginning. Things have changed a great deal from those early days with the current New Zealand alpaca industry being one of the strongest both genetically and in growth rate. It boasts a massive range of Peruvian bloodlines of extremely high quality. Suri alpaca have also made a home in New Zealand with a good chunk of the International Alpaca Registry registered pure Suri being resident in New Zealand.
New Zealand is the clean and green little country that produces some of the highest quality meat, fruit and seafood products in the world, and we have a pretty good Rugby team too! This reliance on Agriculture and Horticulture has meant that New Zealand has protected itself from diseases that would affect these primary industries.
The spin-off is that New Zealand has a very high health status in the world of export and is one of the countries to satisfy the high standards that DEFRA set, in short we (New Zealand) are allowed to export to you.
There is a import protocol that allows alpaca from Australia be imported into New Zealand and there are very strict rules and regulation that surround this protocol but none the less it has be in operation for many years without any problems.
This means that New Zealand can import Australian alpacas without too many issues.
If an alpaca breeder in the EU, letís say the UK wanted to purchase an alpaca from an Australian breeder then it could not be imported directly, but because of the agreement between New Zealand and the EU you would be able to import via New Zealand, hence New Zealand has become the gateway to Europe.
This all comes at a price. Importing from Australia to New Zealand and then on to the UK is a relatively expensive exercise and one with a few little details that create rather large issues. The main problem is that in order for an Australian bred alpaca to qualify for entry to the UK it must first be isolated in New Zealand for a six month period. At the end of this period a Pre Export Quarantine takes place and the animals are tested for various diseases and then, if passed they can be on there way to the EU. This process takes a total of seven months and there are many costs involved.
Many breeders have already taken this option to get new bloodlines of elite quality and more to the point bloodlines that no one else in your country has. However there is another option thatís considerably cheaper and you still get the bloodlines and exclusivity of owning imported bloodlines - that is to import New Zealand bred alpacas.
New Zealand has the bloodlines that Australia has in both Huacaya and Suri, and also the background in animal breeding that gives the buyer a significant boost in confidence plus they also have a proven history with alpacas.
The advantages are simple, if you were to buy a New Zealand bred alpaca you could have that same alpaca on your farm, in the UK within 45 days! This compared with seven to eight months from Australia. It all adds up to a option with considerably less cost and less hassle.
The modern Alpaca industry is a global one, the walls between countries have been broken down letting you access some of the best alpacas in the world via internet, email and so on, and now with the help of places like New Zealand you also have the means to bring them home to your farm and breed champions.
For more information contact Greg & Rachael Graham, Valley of Peace Alpacas Ltd, New Zealand. Valleyofpeace@xtra.co.nz or www.valleyofpeace.co.nz