Import screening

 
Import

The British Alpaca Society runs an import screening service for its members. Import screening sets a minimum standard for imported alpacas for the protection of prospective purchasers, whilst simultaneously protecting the national herd from the introduction of inferior traits or genetically unsound breeding stock.

Alpacas for importation into the UK are accepted on to the BAS pedigree registry once they have undergone a series of tests and examinations before they enter quarantine and arrive on the UK mainland. These examinations constitute the BAS screening process.

The screening process is intended to constantly improve the national alpaca herd and encourage a wider genetic pool. The aim is also to discourage the importing of inferior quality alpacas and those with genetic defects that might be detrimental to the national herd.

The principle of import screening is similar to that used by other alpaca registries around the world. The screening process comprises a series of physical tests, phenotype assessments and fibre analysis tests, which are conducted by trained screeners appointed by the Society.

  • The physical test consists of a thorough veterinary examination, which screens against a series of known undesired genetic traits.
  • The phenotype test is an examination of the alpaca’s conformation and an assessment of its ‘true to type’ alpaca traits.
  • A fibre sample is taken and sent to an independent fibre testing laboratory to be examined for fibre thickness, fibre standard distribution and percentage of fibres over 30 microns.

A points scoring system is then applied to both the phenotype assessment and the fibre analysis test. Alpacas pass the screening process if they attain sufficient points.

The BAS has conducted many screenings of members' alpacas in locations throughout the world, including North America, Australia, Chile, Peru and Europe. Import screening sets a minimum standard for imported alpacas for the protection of prospective purchasers, whilst simultaneously protecting the national herd from the introduction of inferior traits or genetically unsound breeding stock.

The British Alpaca Society  strongly recommends that prospective and established owners only purchase BAS registered breeding stock. Unregistered stock has negligible and reducing value, undermines the national register and puts at risk the national herd in times of welfare emergencies.