World Alpaca Registries and Breed Organizations
Australian Alpaca Association (AAA) & (IAR) Registry
The Australian Alpaca Association Ltd. represents owners at all levels and is the collective voice of over 2,000 members in all States and Territories. The Association is the primary resource for breeding and promoting alpacas providing members with the tools, information and support they need to enjoy all the benefits associated with owning alpacas. The AAA does maintain a breed standard. Many levels of membership to the group are offered. Benefits include:
• International Alpaca Register - register your animals in the International Alpaca Register to maximise the value of your investment.
• Genetic Improvement Programs - maximise your breeding and marketing outcomes through the Across-herd Genetic Evaluation (AGE) Service.
• Q-Alpaca Program - monitor and manage the health of your herd.
• AAA accredited education seminars and workshops.
• National and Regional shows - opportunity to exhibit and market your alpacas.
• Alpacas Australia Magazine and newsletter subscriptions.
• Industry accreditation.
• Access to advertising opportunities in AAA publications.
• Access to the Members Section of the AAA web site containing a wealth of information and industry based forums.
• A dedicated full time team of Association support staff to address your alpaca needs.
• Breeder support network (National and Regional).
• Value adding products.
• Eligibility to use registered ‘Australian Alpaca’ trademark (conditions apply).
• The opportunity to foster friendships with other alpaca owners.
• The opportunity to apply for AAA sponsored scholarships (conditions apply).
• Industry development and promotion - AAA is the voice for the industry to promote alpaca breeders’ interests to governments, associated industries and media in Australia and around the world. The AAA is committed to representation in Animal Health Australia (AHA) initiatives including biosecurity and animal health and welfare programs. Likewise the AAA is working closely with State and Federal Government bodies to finalise plans for the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) for Alpacas and Llamas, implementation of which is anticipated in mid 2012. The AAA contributes substantially to research and development projects through its financial support of the Rural Industries and Research Development Corporation (RIRDC).
Australasian Alpaca Breeders Association Inc. (AABA)
Australasian Alpaca Breeders Association Inc. is based in Australia and was inaugurated well over five years ago. AABA is an Alpaca Association dedicated to Alpaca Breeders’ needs throughout Australia and internationally. They believe in open, honest and transparent operation, bringing Breeders of Alpacas and Fibre Processors together, with maximum benefit and assistance to their members.
The group cites significant differences to the AAA Ltd. and reports that they are placed strongly for success and growth well into the future. One outstanding advantage available to members of AABA is in their agreement with the ARI. Members enjoy access to the DNA testing facilities of the ARI for pedigree verification of their animals. In AABA’s understanding, the AAA Ltd. has chosen to DNA type only the males on its register, the apparent purpose of which is to settle cases of parentage dispute, not for pedigree purposes.
AABA members use the Australasian Alpaca Registry (AAR) for the registration of their animals. It provides members with a sophisticated piece of software allowing the recording of many phenotypic describers that it is probably the most unique, descriptive and comprehensive of its kind in the world of alpacas.
Lama and Alpaka Register
Llama and Alpaca Register Austria was founded in 1994. Its objectives include:
• To facilitate the distribution of domestic forms of small South American camelids.
• Create and maintain a nationwide registry and stud book.
• Prevent the keeping of pure camelids for slaughter.
• Provide advice to association members in all aspects of keeping and breeding camelids.
• Organize seminars, exhibitions and marketing events.
Canadian Llama and Alpaca Association and Registry (CLAA)
The Canadian Llama and Alpaca Association was formed in 1987 and incorporated under the Animal Pedigree Act of Canada in 1989. Only one breed association per breed is incorporated under this act and given authority to represent that specific breed. They have sole authority to represent a breed and manage a public registry for the breed, to issue registration certificates, to establish breed standards and rules of eligibility for registration and define what is a purebred. The breed association or Registry in Canada is responsible for these activities with regard to alpacas and llamas in the Canadian Llama and Alpaca Association. Organized as a dual-purpose group, the Canadian Breed Organization is part of the Canadian Breed Registry and vice versa.
CLAA Mission statement: The CLAA is responsible for the maintenance and governance of an accurate and verifiable registry for llamas and alpacas. It will also, in conjunction with Alpaca Canada and Llama Canada, help develop the industry to its full potential by providing members of the Association with the breed improvement tools and education necessary for quantifiable individual and national herd improvement.
According to Lori May, CLAA Executive Administrator, CLAA registers llamas and alpacas and divides the alpacas into Huacaya-fleeced and Suri-fleeced alpacas. They are distinguished by fleece types and different fibre characteristics as provided in the CLAA Alpaca Breed Standards. Parents must be of the same fleece type.
CLAA issues certificates of registration. All owners of registered alpacas are assigned an identification number, and breeders must have a registered herd identifier for use as a prefix or suffix when naming an alpaca. The CLAA defines “breeder” as the owner of the dam at time of conception.
The CLAA is independent of a breed organization but does have a relationship with Alpaca Canada, a national association of alpaca breeders, May says. The CLAA registry closed to foundation stock in December 31, 2000. The Association currently allows foreign alpacas to be recorded. These alpacas have no status in the Canadian Alpaca Herd Book, but if bred to a CLAA Purebred or Foundation Stock alpaca its offspring is eligible for registration as a 50% Purebred. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulates the importation of all livestock into Canada and its protocols must be followed in order to import alpacas. Among other things, the protocols require quarantine in the country of origin and quarantine upon arrival in Canada. All alpacas must be micro chipped and DNA parent verified prior to registration. Both sires and dams are verified.
To collect DNA, breeders may use whole blood; blood collected on FTA micro cards and hair follicle samples. Up until January 1, 2012, the CLAA used the administration services of the Canadian Livestock Records Corporation to maintain its registry records in an electronic database. Since the first of this year, the Association is using a new program specifically developed for the CLAA.
The CLAA membership has recently accepted a bylaw to allow for recognition of foreign registries. This would allow alpacas from qualified registries to apply for registration in the Canadian Alpaca Herd Book.
Members can expect: free access to the Canadian Alpaca Herd Book, a genetic evaluation program, promotional literature, support in promotion of the alpaca industry, liaison with the federal government on import/export issues, on-line registry transaction available soon, monthly newsletter to members, full time office support. In addition, the CLAA values its rules of registration, free access to the Canadian Alpaca Herd Book, and providing bi-lingual information. The Canadian registry does have a breed standard, which is included in the bylaws governing the registration of alpacas. They are also available on the CLAA web site, as is a fee schedule.
Alpaca Canada represents the interests and evolving needs of Alpaca Canada members and promotes the development of a viable, sustainable and integrated Canadian alpaca industry.
As of 2006, Alpaca Canada is the official voice of the Alpaca industry in Canada. An alpaca specific Division of the CLAA (Canada Llama & Alpaca Association), “Alpaca Canada” will provide a strong nucleus from which all alpaca related industries can spring forth and flourish. Determined to represent the needs of all, members can expect support through promotion, educational opportunities and research.
The quality of Canada’s alpacas is outstanding and is backed by the strength of their International registry. The momentum in the growth of their fibre industry is escalating. With hard earned experience and the growth of the national herd, new breeders now have opportunities and support not previously available. Alpaca Canada’s vision is to unite the membership nationwide, draw on the excellence and knowledge available and continue the amazing growth in the industry.
European Suri Association
The European Suri Association (ESA) is a breed society that works with the European Suri Register (ESR). The ESA is an association dedicated to the advancement of the Suri alpaca throughout Europe and internationally.
The ESA acts as an open organisation to serve and support its members, promoting a united future for all Suri breeders worldwide. The association provides information and advice to ESA members, the alpaca community and the general public. ESA membership is open to anyone interested in the development of the Suri alpaca and the group encourages all those who own suri to register their animals with the association. By joining the ESA, owners become a part of a united association and will benefit from being promoted throughout the European and international Suri market.
Alpaca Breeders of Finland
Alpaca Breeders of Finland was founded in 2006 to gather together present and future breeders who are interested in developing alpacas and their fleeces further. The Association’s aim is to promote serious alpaca breeding in Finland by providing the members with training and information on keeping and husbandry of alpacas, health, breeding and fibre production. It is open to co-operation with local and foreign parties and associations.
Alpagas et Lamas de France & Registry (l’AFLA)
The French Association of Llamas and Alpacas (AFLA) was born in 2010 in a merger of two existing associations in France: “Alpacas and Llamas in France” (ALF) and “French Association of Small Camelids” (PSAC), both created by breeders and owners of llamas and alpacas, the first in 1986 and the second in 1994. Today, AFLA has over 200 members (amateur and professional).
The purpose of this group is to pool the efforts of each to the promotion and enhancement of llamas and alpacas in France and to share experiences and goals of all.
Both associations have shows organized during which European breeders of llamas and alpacas show their pets in various competitions: patterns and gaits, competition barriers or hiking. These gatherings also provide a communication and international exchange of ideas and achievements.
In addition, the Association sends a quarterly magazine to all its members: “Llamas and Alpacas”. It contains information about the life of the Association, the minutes of the Boards of Directors, articles on breeding, wool, a corner veto, classified ads, the official administrative decisions, and more. Many veterinarians are part of the Association and exchange experiences and skills for rendering quality service to farmers. Fees for services can be found online.
Alpaka Zucht Verband Deutschland e.V.
& Registry (AZVD)
The German Alpaca Association AZVD (Alpaka Zucht Verband Deutschland e.V) would like to inform and invite all people to actively support their mission to bring Alpaca Breeding to a higher level. Their web site offers the following information:
• All regular info about AZVD.
• General information about keeping, maintaining and breeding alpacas according to German national rules and laws.
• The latest information on events like shows, education, training sessions, screenings, etc.
• Information on the herd book.
• Information on the breeding book.
• Articles, news and links.
• An online forum.
Full information is available for members only. Members are defined as registered users of the website. In the near future, AZVD will publish their herd and breeding book results. These features are a bit more restrictive: registered users will receive only general information about registered alpacas including bloodlines, offspring and their listings within the respective books. Members are granted access to the majority of information available.
The German registry only includes alpacas and both Huacaya and Suris are registered, though they are not separated. They also register crossbreeds, but they are not allowed in the national herd screening program, nor the Herdbook and Elite Breeding Book. Germany does not want or encourage cross breedings. They issue “passports,” a sort of thirty-page certificate. Every member carries a herd code that is cross-referenced with other associations within continental Europe. The importance of this is that an animal carries the Herd Code of the Breeder, which would be the owner of the dam at time of mating. So, even if you buy a pregnant female, the offspring would get the seller’s herd code. The registry is not separate from the breed association. In fact, Mike Herrling, Creator of the AZVDs Herd- and Elitebook and Advance Screening System and Screening Supervisor of the AZVD BoD says, “The registry is the vital core of our association.” The German registry is fully open. Animals can be imported, but all import papers need to be presented as well as the original papers. The German registry verifies pedigree only from the U.S. (A.R.I.) and Canada (CLAA). Since no other registry does parental testing aside from taking the DNA footprint, Germany enters the pedigree data, but specifically mentions it as non-verifiable. Germany requires DNA and parental testing for all animals and verifies both sires and dams. DNA collection is done with blood on a collection paper, as is mandatory in all animal registries in Germany. To track the whereabouts of all animals, a database is maintained, listing animals owned or sold by members. Support to members includes: training, screening to identify phenotype documentation, tracking genotype for breeding decisions and E.P.D., shows and marketing support. Herrling says the most important mission of the group is the “registry, screening and E.P.D.s.” When asked what sets the German registry apart from others, he continues, “In no other registry you will find this combination: all animals are DNA registered and parental verified plus a screening system for national herds as a tool for an Elite Book system with Estimated Progeny Difference (which data, not like in the A.R.I., is collected by independent and objective screener personnel, not by the owner).”
Herrling clarifies: “Germany does accept all animals, but verifies only those, with “the highest possible standard, which can only be DNA plus parental testing. Remember, a lot of registries take DNA samples, like Australia and New Zealand, but do not test for the parents, which they can’t, because females are never tested. Also remember: DNA always derives from two parents. The sires introduce only 50%. Just testing the males will not do any good.”
Fees are broken down as follows: Membership annual: 60 EURs, Animal registration: 75 EURs, Animal screening: 80 EURs, Afterwards: annual animal fee 2 EURs.
Herrling explains the German breed standard, “Our screening protocol is the breed standard which specifically calls for all measurable things that are scientifically proven. We do not enhance any “specific look” (Peruvian head or other artificial criteria) to narrow the broad spectrum in our DNA pool. We do not declare show standards to breed standards; because they are too narrow-minded and emphasize looks instead of science. I cannot give you all the individual items we look for, since there are more than 250 individual points to look at, including undesirable traits.” The registry’s main objectives include elimination of all signs of hybridization with llamas, elimination of bad body conformation and lowering all micron-related fibre criteria while increasing density in Huacaya and luster in Suri. Herrling: “please reference Eric Hoffman’s The Complete Alpaca Book. He described the initial set of criteria, which is still the foundation of our screening system and therefore, breed standard. The only difference is: we go for 50% body and 50% fibre, instead of 55 body and 45% fibre as in the original concept.”
Societa Italiana Alpaca (SIA)
Italian Alpaca Association’s purpose is to provide technical, scientific and commercial tools for their members, with the aim of improving the quality of livestock and to support market growth. The association wants to be characterized by great dynamism, clarity and openness to anyone who wants to get in touch with the world of alpacas. At the same time, it promotes the formation of a knowledge-based network for expanding the commercial opportunities for breeders. The association has identified three main working areas upon which it has built its vocation. Firstly, it coordinates the distribution of relevant information among the members. This is done through a website, a blog and a magazine that is printed every four months. Secondly, it created a genetic registry that represents the main tool for improving both animal’s health and fibre quality. This is the first registry established for Alpaca in Italy, which is the only recognized by the Government, and is also intended to record livestock growth as a tool to influence future agricultural policies. Thirdly, the association works hard to promote the alpaca business. To do so, it organizes regular fairs and shows and, particularly, it registered a “made in Italy” trademark, which is thought for supporting the commercialization of alpaca products, from wool to garments.
Alpaca Association of New Zealand (AANZ) & (IAR) Registry
Alpaca Association New Zealand is growing and provides its members with support information about alpacas, alpaca fibre and alpaca farming. AANZ was formed in 2001 from ALANZ (Alpaca and Llama Association) when the diverging paths of alpaca and llama called for individual breed societies. There are now over 700 members and 14,000 registered alpaca in New Zealand. The alpaca industry is enjoying healthy, sustainable growth and delivering many different aspects to different people within the alpaca community; from lifestyle and investment options to alpaca related events, and fibre products. The current membership is spread throughout New Zealand and includes farmers, lifestyle block owners and city folk looking for an alternative lifestyle. The rare and absolutely adorable alpaca has captured the hearts of thousands of New Zealanders enSuring a healthy and vibrant organisation.
The International Alpaca Registry (I.A.R.) is a comprehensive listing of every registered alpaca in New Zealand and Australia. Information that is available includes: Alpaca Name, Pedigree, Colour, Type, Breeder, Progeny, Date of Birth, Sex, Current Owner, Identification and IAR Numbers.
Benefits of Membership:
• A comprehensive information pack covering all aspects of owning and breeding alpacas.
• Three A4 colour alpaca magazines posted April, August and December.
• A 16 page, colour tabloid - extra copies available for clients.
• Ability to register your animals on an international database. Prospective purchasers will be comforted by the fact that the animals are registered.
• An invitation to join the voluntary Tb scheme.
• A membership directory of all financial members throughout New Zealand.
• An invitation to advertise and promote your business or farm on the Alpaca Association New Zealand website.
• An invitation to attend workshops, shows and field-days organised through the Association.
• An invitation to attend educational workshops on fleece, health issues, showing, birthing, shearing and many other issues of interest.
• An invitation to attend the Association’s annual conference - overseas guest speakers are normally invited.
• An invitation to nominate animals for showing at the A & P shows throughout New Zealand.
• Finally and probably most importantly - access to knowledge. There is a real wealth of knowledge within the industry - by joining the association you will be better informed, make many new friends and become passionate about your animals
The Norwegian Alpaca Association
The Norwegian Alpaca Association is a breeder association and an association for those interested in alpacas and alpaca products. They actively work to increase the interest in and knowledge of alpacas and their unique qualities, both in terms of the species and the fiber. In addition, they offer a meeting place for the interested parties. The Norwegian Alpaca Association's short and long term goals are to foster growth in the Norwegian alpaca industry.
International Alpaca Association (IAA)
The Internacional Alpaca Association is a private-sector association with nonprofit purposes. The IAA brings together companies and individual breeders involved in the production and commercialization of fiber from alpacas, llamas, and other South American camelidae and their hybrids. The IAA was founded in 1984 to promote, advance and safeguard the interest of members and their products manufactured from alpaca. One of the main concerns of the IAA and its associated committees is to ensure the maintenance of the highest quality standards identified with this luxurious natural fibre.
• Encourage the higher consumption of fiber from alpacas, llamas, and other South American camelidae and their hybrids; promote the image of the fiber and its manufactures products.
• Promote all actions that improve the breeding, growth, and quality of the animals. Register the “Alpaca” and “Huarizo” trademarks and create standards that users of flbers must follow in order to use the trademarks on their products, be it in slivers, tops, woven pieces, or clothing.
• Supervise and promote the use of our trademarks to achieve international recognition, market our noble fibers worldwide, and educate consumers about the correct use of our trademarks.
The IAA promotes relationships between new members in areas of production, processing, aid commercialization of alpaca, llama, and other South American camelidae and hybrid fibers.
Membership of the IAA is open to alpaca and llama breeders and all manufacturers, merchants and retailers who use alpaca in the following processes and products:
• Trading in raw and scoured alpaca fiber
• Combing and spinning
• Hand and machine knitting and knitted garments
• Women’s wear fabrics, etc.
• Men’s wear fabrics
• Home textiles and furnishings
Annual License Fee for manufacturers, merchants and retailers: US$1,000. Annual Fee for alpaca and llama breeders: US$ 200
A prospective candidate for IAA membership must be presented by a licensed member and approved prior to election by the Marketing Committee with subsequent approval by the IAA Council. It is not required for breeders.
South Africa Alpaca Breeding Society
The SA Alpaca Breeders’ Club was inaugurated in 2001 and was promulgated to a Society in late 2007. The Society is registered under SA Stud Book and Livestock Improvement Association. Alpacas are therefore a registered breed in South Africa. The Society promotes the breed in SA, and is the controlling body for maintaining minimum breed standards and genetic improvement. One has to be a member of the Society to register stud alpacas.
The Society is also a forum for the dissemination of information, arranging seminars and, in the future, a show circuit.
The objectives of the Alpaca Society are:
• To encourage and promote the breeding of Alpacas in the Territory and the improvement of their genetic production.
• To maintain unimpaired the purity of the alpaca breed in the Territory and promote the interests of the breed and their fibre-related by-products.
• To encourage the preservation and development of the breed by sound selection in accordance with the acceptance of a “Minimum Breed Standard“ based on performance testing records and visual appraisal for genetic defects, conformation and fibre requirements.
• To maintain a Code of Conduct for members on the sale and marketing of their animals.
• To safeguard and advance the common interests of breeders in the Territory, and generally to give effect to the objectives contemplated by the Act.
Socedad Espanola de Alpacas & Regisry (SEDA)
The Society is dedicated to the welfare of alpacas and the education of their owners in Spain and to promote the alpaca as a sustainable industry within Spain by helping members as appropriate. Objectives: to ensure that the resources of the membership are used effectively to meet the Society’s objectives. To create, and manage an alpaca registry which is efficient, viable and a permanent resource for the Society and is recognised worldwide. To establish a minimum standard for screening imported alpacas to protect members and to ensure constant improvement in the Spanish National herd. To create an efficient welfare network of vets and breeders which will act in emergency, day to day, and as an educational resource for the membership and the protection of the alpaca in Spain. To organise shows and competitions throughout Spain to help members promote their businesses. To create a pool of qualified and experienced alpaca judges and to create show rules compatible with the rest of Europe. To create an accessible, informative resource in basic alpaca knowledge, husbandry and welfare accessible to all members and the general public. To promote and encourage alpaca owners in their regions to organise themselves as self help groups to share resource, information and experience and to maximise the benefits available from the Society. To encourage all members to participate in any way they can in all the activities of the Society. To liaise with and lobby government, local, regional, national and European groups, acting as the mouthpiece of the alpaca industry to ensure that alpacas are properly recognised and that their welfare needs are understood.
The Socedad Espanola de Alpacas and Registry only registers alpacas and includes both Huacayas and Suris but keeps animals with both breed parentage in one category. Certificates are not issued. Members do retain specific breed identifiers. The registry is open and animals can be imported with little problem. DNA certification is not required for new registrants. A database and list of animals owned (but not sold) by members is maintained. The Socedad is, according to Chairman Nigel Cobb, “in its infancy,” and contains only about 100 animals. The Socedad does not acknowledge alpacas from other registries. It does not have a breed standard.
Llama and Alpaca Registries Europe (LAREU)
LAREU is a Registered European Association based in Brig, Switzerland. Its purpose is to provide an online registration service for all alpaca and llama breeders and owners. LAREU maintains a database and tracks DNA parentage. LAREU also offers camelid passports for alpacas and llamas.
Alpaka Verein Schweiz (VLAS)
Alpaca Association Switzerland
The organization of the association is based on the desire of the duties and interests of club members; hobby owners, breeders, professional llama trekking companies and others. The following are the main objectives of Alpaca Association Switzerland:
• Creating a herd book of South American Camelids (recognized breeding organization).
• Leading the club’s website www.vlas.ch.
• Representation of interests to the authorities.
• Basic and continuing education.
• Set of standards for: conformation, housing, feeding, health services and housing.
• National Archives and records.
• Information and public relations work for the journal LAMAS.
• Creating current purchase, sale and exchange lists.
• Creating a platform for contact and exchange of experiences, networking of the various interests of the members, recruitment and support.
The British Alpaca Society and British Alpaca Registry (BAS)
The British Alpaca Society (BAS) is dedicated to the welfare of alpacas and the education of their owners in the U.K. The BAS provides information, support and events for alpaca owners, breeders and those interested in alpacas, as well as maintaining the Pedigree Register for the National Herd. The organization is administered by a board of directors, all of whom have an interest in alpacas, and an administrative team provided by Grassroots Systems, Ltd.
The Registry is a database containing the genealogy and ownership records of BAS registered alpacas within the U.K. The Register is owned by the BAS and is operated by Grassroots Systems, Ltd., an independent service supplier. The BAS Registry opened with the registration of the U.K.’s foundation herd, eligibility for which was founded exclusively upon the physical presence of alpacas within the U.K. on 17 May 1999. The Registry is now the largest and most detailed alpaca registry in Europe, containing pedigree records dating back to 1996 and, in some cases, breeding records that date back much further.
According to Shaun Daniel, Chairman, “The Registry is governed by the BAS board, which makes all major policy decisions. The Registration and Screening Sub-Committee of the BAS is responsible for the implementation of policies and procedures in order to maintain the strenuous and rigorous requirements necessary to maintain the standard and integrity of the registry.” Eligibility for registration of alpacas is primarily restricted to the registration of the cria (offspring) of registered parents.
Daniel says, “Alpacas may be registered with the Society subject to passing a screening examination for physical, phenotype and fibre characteristics.” All BAS registered alpacas are micro chipped and tagged using a dual identification process, which conforms to requirements for other agricultural livestock, developed in conjunction with a major recognised supplier. Eligibility for registration of alpacas is primarily restricted to the registration of the cria (offspring) of registered parents.
The registry is a major resource of the British Alpaca Society and is being developed to create a standard that will give security to prospective purchasers in that all BAS registered alpacas conform to a minimum standard established by the Society. The registry is being developed constantly as a major breeding tool to provide BAS members with reports and information to support member breeding programmes.
Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association (AOBA)
AOBA exists to support owners and breeders of alpacas. A marketing program and Show System serves the mutual benefit of all members. AOBA increases awareness of the alpaca as livestock to non-breeders and the use of their exquisite fiber in garments and household items of every type. Through the AOBA Show System, alpaca shows are governed, approved and conferences/educational events held. AOBA is working with other alpaca organizations such as the Alpaca Registry Inc, Alpaca Fiber Cooperative of North America, Alpaca Research Foundation, and Alpaca United setting the direction of the industry.
AOBA is a non-profit alpaca owners and breeders association with resources and services for members that include an alpaca industry enthusiast information site, AlpacaInfo, an alpaca fashion and fiber site; AlpacaFashion, a youth association; AYA, a complete show system Alpaca Show System, the AOBA North American Alpaca Catalog, a coast-to-coast alpaca marketing directory of member farms and alpacas for sale is the latest innovation from the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association, offering a national alpacas for sale listings, alpaca web design service, and powerful marketing features for breeders to reach more buyers online, and the award winning publication Alpacas Magazine.
Alpaca Registry, Inc. (ARI)
Alpaca Registry, Inc. (ARI), headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska is the largest alpaca pedigree registry in the world. They only register alpacas (both Huacaya and Suri) and not other camelids. ARI is the only organization of its kind in the United States, but also registers alpacas in Canada and other countries throughout the world. Using advanced DNA technology, ARI validates the parentage of alpacas submitted for pedigree registration.
Huacayas and Suris are registered separately and the certificates issued are different colored. Breed type is noted next to every alpaca in a pedigree, so Suri and/or Huacaya parentage is easily seen. When members purchase specific breed identifiers they are theirs to keep forever. The registry is currently closed, which means alpacas can only be ARI registered if they come from two ARI registered parents. DNA certification is required for new registrants. Animals are no longer allowed to be imported from outside the United States. While the registry maintains relationships with registries all over the world, they do not have reciprocity with any other registry.
Alpaca Registry, Inc. has no opinion on breed standards because such a standard, according to Executive Director Darby Vannier, “does not affect registration of alpacas into our Registry.”
ARI validates sires and dams. DNA collection takes place by way of blood cards. Once an alpaca’s parentage has been validated, ARI issues a registration certificate that provides known lineage and assigns a unique number to each alpaca. ARI maintains a database of every registered alpaca since the beginning of the Registry and they track the owners of record for those alpacas.
Support to members includes: ten full time and one part time staff members dedicated to helping members. The call center answers more than 40,000 phone calls per year and makes almost 20,000 follow-up calls to members. They also answer thousands of email requests each year. The custom built, state-of-the-art registry management system provides online tools for registering and transferring alpacas, but also for researching pedigrees. The database is searched more than 250,000 times per year.
The registry management system was designed to send automated reminders to members when they need to sign off on something or complete something in the system. They also provide educational materials for members through the education website, www.ariACADEMY.com and an online listing site, www.ariLIST.com, that connects directly to the database. In addition, ARI runs the largest Expected Progeny Differences (EPD) program in the world. This program is giving alpaca breeders the genetic information they need to make better and more reliable breeding and buying decisions.
Created in 1988, the ARI methodology and database is one of the most accurate of any livestock industry in the world. Alpaca Registry, Inc. is separate from the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association (AOBA). ARI identifies its most important mission as: maintaining an official genealogical registry system for alpacas, providing a genealogical research service for alpaca pedigrees, providing information to its members, and setting policy for the administration of that Registry and the rules for admission of non-Registry animals into the Registry. In addition, they strive to be the standard of excellence by which all livestock registries are measured.
When asked what sets their registry apart, Vannier says “We are the largest alpaca registry in the world and maintain the largest DNA database of alpacas with results on over 200,000 alpacas dating back to 1998. We are the only camelid registry in the world that requires DNA testing and validation for every single alpaca that is registered. As a result, we are the only camelid registry that can offer a truly scientifically validated pedigree.”
Alpaca Research Foundation
The Mission of the Alpaca Research Foundation is to encourage and support scientific research which benefits the North American alpaca industry, primarily in the areas of alpaca health, husbandry, genetics and fiber. The Alpaca Research Trust was established by the ARI Board of Directors in December, 1997 as a Colorado, non-profit corporation for charitable, educational and scientific purposes. In 2003, what is now known as the Alpaca Research Foundation (ARF) became an independent 501c3 non-profit organization. Since its inception, ARF has been dedicated to funding medical and scientific research aimed at improving the health and vitality of North American alpacas. Only research that is conducted and evaluated under the peer-review process is funded and 100% of donations to ARF go directly to alpaca research. In addition, ARF works closely with the Morris Animal Foundation (MAF), helping to set priorities for research funding and providing monetary support for projects administered through the Llama and Alpaca division of MAF.
Camelid Identification System (CIS)
The Camelid Identification System (CIS) is a working science-based non-profit organization with the sole directive of creating stronger gene pools in all Camelid populations of the world. CIS will facilitate this through competitive, affordable and scientifically accurate DNA collection and verification.
As the world Camelid industry forges into the 21st century, using DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) to verify parentage and ensure the accuracy of pedigrees has become an important part of preserving bloodlines in the Camelid Industry as well as the wild populations of the world. Partnering with the University of California Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL), CIS uses state-of the-art DNA hair follicle testing to profile Camelids and to determine parentage. Hair follicle DNA typing is similar to blood DNA typing for parentage, with the exception that DNA typing is more reliable. DNA is replicated and passed on to offspring. As a result, there are fewer than 1 in 10,000,000 errors in DNA samples recorded through the University of California at Davis for DNA typing, one of the foremost facilities used in the nation. The VGL primary alpaca panel that is used to test all CIS samples includes fourteen markers (eleven from the International Society of Animal Genetics [ISAG], panel approved in 2010). All fourteen markers are reported. This panel has been developed over the years to include markers that are highly polymorphic and thus, exceptional for resolving parentage cases. When needed, CIS has a backup panel that includes another eleven markers (two more from the ISAG panel). When there is more than one possible sire presented, the qualifier is typically clear using the primary panel.
CIS also offers studies relating to purity and important genetic factors, which will be facilitated via a world collective of Camelid scientists. CIS’ team of world Camelid scientists is now being formulated as the needed projects in Camelid studies are assessed around the world, from the South American populations of wild species of vicuña and guanacos to the highland populations of domestic breeds of pure alpacas which are becoming endangered by hybridization, as well as at the other end of the globe in the wilderness of Ladakh, home to the endangered Bactrian Camel. CIS is also committed to helping domestic world populations of Camelids that need affordable and valued DNA parental verification and certification for advanced health concerns and specific breeding goals.
The objective of CIS is to provide a new pillar of scientific strength working with existing science organizations as well as breed organizations and registries to further assist in the health and advancements of all Camelid breeds.
CIS is a certification and validation of specie and parentage that documents lineage but does not act as a private registry. CIS is independent of any breeder association. The CIS database is sorted and processed by specie-breed and also by owner or group (organization). CIS defines and records Huacaya and Suri as distinct breed types and they will be distinguished as such in their parental lineage. CIS issues certificates. CIS is open to scientifically test all breeds of Camelids worldwide. Each breed is identified by Genus and Specie. CIS differentiates breeds by their DNA and specie classification. Breed standards are referred to the discretion of the breed organizations. All Camelids have their own data collection via Genus and Species, which is directed to the science centers and scientists doing specific breed studies. CIS will refer all importations of CIS certified alpacas through the country of destination’s breed registries and government authorities. CIS is open to scientifically test all breeds of Camelids worldwide and encourages all Camelids from all countries to participate in DNA certification, validation, purity and breed study programs.
CIS offers DNA certification for individuals, which does not require submission of Dam or Sire DNA. For parental certification, CIS requires DNA certification of Dam and Sire.
• Compliance & Value
• Each breeder accesses their own account and password-protected breeder identification.
CIS is different from other groups in that it is not a registry. CIS is a nonprofit organization with main mission of providing affordable and reliable DNA results. Excess proceeds go directly into science-based Camelid Studies and programs. CIS fees are available at www.CISDNA.org.
Cottage Industry Alpaca Breeders Association
Cottage Industry Alpaca Breeders Association, (CIABA), was launched by Valerie Newell and Robin Alpert in the spring of 2010 after the economy in the United States took a sharp downturn. People who had invested their life savings in alpacas were suddenly losing their incomes and could no longer afford to keep their beloved alpacas. They were being told by the major alpaca organization in the U.S. that their animals were of no value unless they met a certain standard set by the U.S. Alpaca show ring. Alpacas that people thought had no value were actually going to slaughter and some of the bigger farms and “business” people were promoting the sale of meat and hides. Some of those animals probably had excellent fiber, but since they had been devalued in the show ring, owners did not understand their true value. It was an unacceptable situation. Val and Robin, along with many other alpaca farmers, believed that the only way to save the industry was to get the fiber into production so the consumer could see what a valuable commodity it was. This was not being done by the major organizations, so CIABA was born.
The phrase “Alpaca Breeders Association” should probably have been “Camelid Breeders Association” because CIABA values all natural fibers, but concentrates on camelids. To us, Cottage Industry means anything from working with your own fiber at home up through small manufacturing, which has always been the progression of commerce leading to larger industry. We believe that there is no basis for an alpaca industry if there is no end product base.
Mission: To honor and promote those North American alpacas that do not fit the typical show ring criteria: silky, fine uniform fiber or fiber that is variegated or unique. To educate the public about areas of fiber, fiber arts, end products and animal husbandry. CIABA would like to demonstrate that as a group we honor, accept and show appreciation for the use of alpaca fiber and all other natural fibers well suited to blend with alpaca. To promote the growth of the alpaca fiber industry and to educate the consumer about why alpaca fiber is unique and was once called “Fiber of the Gods.” To promote the industry as a viable and sustainable fiber and farming industry for all economic levels and to have all who hold to these high standards prosper.
International Camelid Institute
Founded in 2001 by David E. Anderson, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVS, at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in the United States, the International Camelid Institute (ICI) promotes education, service and collaboration among researchers, breeders, owners, fiber and textile industry professionals and animal enthusiasts worldwide. As an information repository, veterinarians, owners, academicians, regulatory agencies and others can access and obtain essential information for everyday situations from research. ICI strives to acknowledge research being conducted throughout the world and seeks to help avoid duplication of efforts. ICI does not solicit research funds nor does it administer grants. ICI seeks to share and exchange information and therefore is not exclusionary to any researchers. The Institute serves as an educational conduit to fulfill its mission of improving animal health and well being.
International Lama Registry
According to Jan Wassink, ILR Registrar, “The ILR was the original alpaca registry in North America. In the early 90’s, the alpaca owners wanted to have their own registry so they formed the ARI and purchased the alpaca registration files from the ILR. The ILR continued to do the alpaca registrations for the ARI under an administrative agreement until 2004 when the ARI established an independent office. The CLAA was also formed after the ILR and most of the original breeding stock within the CLAA were camelids already registered by the ILR.”
“The administrative agreement between the ILR and the ARI included a seven-year ‘non-compete’ clause, which expired in 2011, opening the door for the ILR to once again register alpacas along with the other camelids. This addition has been welcomed by our members as many of them own several species of camelids and can now do all their registration work in one place.”
“The ‘politics’ of the ILR registry are important in that while all registries are formed to add value to registered stock, many registries soon get involved in “promoting” a particular “style” of the species by developing a breed standard. The ILR has never taken that approach, choosing instead to simply record the genealogies and allow the market to determine value.”
“Because the ILR only started registering alpacas again a little more than a year ago and have only publicized this addition to ILR members, we do not have a broad range of services that we currently offer specifically to owners of registered alpacas. However, if you have time to look at our website, you will see the wide variety of services that are available to owners of all of the varieties of camelids. In addition, as the number of ILR registered alpacas increases, the ILR board will certainly be willing to work with alpaca owners to try to provide any special services that they may want.”
The ILR is the largest accurate compilation of lama genealogical information in the world. The Registry is a not-for-profit corporation with the purpose of maintaining an official genealogical registry system and research services for owners of sub species of the genus lama: llama (lama glama), guanaco (lama guanicoe), vicuña (lama vicugna) and crossbred. (Both Huacaya and Suri alpacas can be registered but they are not separated.)
Members retain specific breed identifiers. The registry is separate from breed organizations. The registry is currently semi-closed. Animals may still be imported – all that is necessary is registration. DNA certification is not required for new registrants. Both sires and dams are verified for breeding stock. Both rootball and FTA cards are used as DNA collection methods.
The most important mission of the registry is to maintain genealogical records for breeders. When asked what sets the registry apart from others, Wassink says “We are international and non-political.” The registry acknowledges alpacas from all other valid alpaca registries.
Basic registration is $20, DNA analysis is $40. The registry does not maintain breed standards.
The ILR can be compared to a large library, a valuable storehouse of information, whose job is to gather and maintain accurate genealogical records. The registry also keeps lists of animals owned or sold by members. The focus is always on the expansion and accuracy of the records.
The Suri Network’s board is focused on industry aspects that will benefit all breeders of Suri alpacas. North America has the opportunity and potential to be the global leader in Suri alpacas. The Suri alpaca is the only alpaca in North America to have an association written and approved breed standard. The Suri Network and Suri breeders are committed to the advancement of Suri genetics and to the advancement of economic value of Suris. Suri breeders understand the importance of continued education and research for the long-term growth of the Suri alpaca.