Magazine article Rural Cooperatives

Alpaca Herd Rescue Shows Need for Education

Magazine article Rural Cooperatives

Alpaca Herd Rescue Shows Need for Education

Article excerpt

The rescue of a herd of 176 alpacas in dire need on an Oregon farm was coordinated earlier this year by Cross Creek Alpaca Rescue. Outraged by the poor condition of the animals, the Columbia Alpaca Breeders Association (CABA), the Northwest regional affiliate of the Alpaca Owners Association Inc. (AOA), donated more than $6,500 toward the care of the rescued alpacas, which were housed at the Oregon State University School of Veterinary Medicine.

AOA members throughout North America have made further donations for the care of the animals. As of early July, all of the alpacas had been placed with new owners, except for two that will become part of the university's herd.

The exact circumstances that led to such dire conditions for the herd are uncertain, but the situation underscores the need for continued education to help prevent similar situations from occurring, AOA says.

The alpaca industry has grown steadily in North America during the past 30 years, numbering about 230,000 registered animals at present. But it is not a "get rich quick with a part-time job" venture, AOA stresses. Many people make a successful living in the industry but, as with any business, research and hard work are necessary.

A good way to start researching the business is to talk with other alpaca ranchers in your area. A listing of farms can be found at: www.alpacainfo.com. A helpful repository of information about alpacas can be found at: www. ariACADEMY. …

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