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Health & Welfare Bulletin No. 36 : Winter Catch Up

Remember if we have a really cold spell, below freezing for a number of days, always break any ice on the water and look out for signs of your camelids not drinking. Some camelids will not drink freezing water. In these cases (very few) add a little hot water to the bucket so the water is cold but not icy and check the animal drinks some. Hay is very dry and therefore our animals need more water in the winter than in the summer when they get a lot of their water from the grass.

I expect many of you will be aware of the proposed badger cull in England. Due to this contentious decision by the Government and the high cost of policing, it will not take place until after the Para-Olympics, i.e. back end of the year.

In the farming press and various newspapers, it has been reported that a number of Veterinary Laboratory Agencies (VLA) are to close. There will be only six remaining in operation: 1) Shrewsbury, 2) Penrith, 3) Sutton Bonnington 4) Bury St.Edmonds, 5) Newcastle, 6) Star Cross.
BUT this only refers to the laboratories; the actual VLA where you take animals for post mortem will remain open for the time being. If the VLA find anything they are not happy about they will send samples to a laboratory that has stayed open.
If you have an animal die unexpectedly or in suspicious circumstances, please get your vet to carry out a post mortem or ask your vet to make arrangements for it to have a post mortem at your local VLA.

As time goes by, we are finding more and more camelids need to be re-homed. Some of these cases are genuine but we are finding some people have taken on animals and then suddenly decided they don’t want them anymore!

Camelids can live for over 20 years. Have you made provision for your camelids to be looked after and cared for should a disaster befall you? This may sound hard, but please think about what would happen to your lovely animals if you were no longer around to look after them.
Make provision in your will. Do you have a reliable family member who would take them on? Ask another member of BLS (providing them with the finance) to care for your animals.

The BLS Board is considering the setting up of a fund and more details will be in the spring edition of Llama Link. You could run coffee mornings, bring and buy sales or just give money. This would be ‘ring fenced’ for the welfare of beautiful animals that need help.
We are also in the market for a philanthropic person who would like to donate a farm to the whole of the camelid industry as a refuge/rescue centre. Put your thinking caps on!!

Vice Chairman BLS & Health & Welfare Representative
Nutfield Park Farm, South Nutfield, REDHILL, Surrey Tel: 01737-823375