Monday, February 28, 2011

Our New Car

After a very close encounter with my daughter Lauren and young Jesse in the car, when she pulled up a month ago to pick up papers from the vet for me, she drove into the car park, and the whole front end dropped out of the Ford territory.

Moments before she came off the freeway travelling 110 kph, We thank our lucky stars that this did not happen whilst she was driving.

She called Rob, who went up there, and a lady was wanting Rob to move the car, as she wanted to park in the car park, Rob, went to look at it, and it dropped again, jamming the wheels at a 45 degree angle, and the cv joint dropped out.

Rob was standing there dumb founded could not believe his eyes.

The tow truck man came and said that this is a common fault with Ford territories, and that Ford has done a partial recall on the ball joints.

It was stated on the internet, that they are reluctant to do a full recall, but after reading many horror stories, on how drivers could not steer, going down gullies, and running into trees, as the ball joint came out.

The mechanic went onto tell us that it would cost in the vicinity of $6,000 and they are renown to go again, and in the write ups, again on car guide, and various forums, they may last 30,000 or 50,000, some having had them replaced 3 times.

I was too scared, to even think of Elyse, Lauren our grandkids, or anyone else driving the car, as there is no warning.

We went to a couple of car yards, and then just as a co incidence we were shown the Nissan Murano, and we ended up trading the Territory in once we had the ball joint and cv joint fixed.

I asked Lauren to take me down to the car yard to get a trade in, value on our car, and whilst we were waiting i said to Lauren it is like this car over here, as i walk over in the direction of a similar car, beside it was a Bright Yellow Ford XR

, with body kit, and immediately, without consulting me, she ran over and said to the salesman, if wee trade the two cars in will we get a better deal.

Well her charm did get her a better deal, and she came home Friday with her new car.

Rob then thought of Andrew and Leesa, Leesa now 4.5 months pregnant, and needed a new car desperately, and they jumped at paying the trade in value for Lauren’s car, a Ford Fairlane.

So all our mums now have safe vehicles to drive.

Thursday, February 24, 2011



aust eu

· Compare Australia to your country…if you live in Europe.

THs is an accurate map of Australia overlaid over the majority of Europe.

This map alone, shows you why there is no risk of Bluetongue Virus reaching the southern states of Australia, and why the zones and Australia's NAMP research and continual mapping systems ‘gives your country assurances they need.

There has been 1 naturally occurred case of BTV tested in Australia, and that was in 1979.

That was in a cattle, at a place called Dumpty Doo, which is approx. near the red oval dot, in the ocean at the top of Norway on the left.

I am situated in Melbourne which is approx. in the Mediterranean near Crete.

And in between is a huge desert.

Lets see how big Australia is

- Australia-

· 7, 692, 030 square km

· (China: 9,597,000 sq km)

· Lowest, flattest, geographically uniform continent

· very old

Land use: 6% arable, 58% pasture, 14% forest, 22% other (mostly desert)

· Blue Tongue- Australia

1 Bluetongue is an insect-borne, viral disease primarily of sheep, occasionally goats and deer and, very rarely, cattle. The disease is non-contagious and is only transmitted by insect vectors. Bluetongue is different from most other diseases covered by AUSVETPLAN. The causes of most other exotic diseases are not present in Australia, whereas a number of types of the bluetongue virus are present in Australia, but natural bluetongue disease has not occurred in Australia. The disease is caused by a virus belonging to the family Reoviridae.

History of BTV in Australia

• free until 1977, BTV isolated from mixed pool of Culicoides in 1977, and has been, the vectors or virus does not change

• Extensive cross-sectional surveys -Sentinel cattle to search for new viruses

• Sentinel cattle are the mainstay of Australia’s BTV surveillance programme. Monitoring of sentinel herds taken in place almost every year since the late 1970s. From 1990 to the present there have been between 57 and 93 sentinel herds distributed around Australia every year.

• State based programmes coalesced into the NAMP in 1992. This national programme continues to run and provides ongoing information.

• Sentinel programs have existed in Australia for over 30 years

• Strategically distributed around Australia, based on history

• Continuous and ongoing surveillance

• Research into BT viruses

• distribution, virulence, pathogenesis, teratogenicity, semen studies, vaccines, molecular biology

• Expansion of vector research

• ecology,distribution, competence

National Arbovirus Monitoring Program (NAMP)

• Monitors the distribution of important arboviruses of livestock and their vectors

• An integrated national program

• Funded by government (2/3) and national industry bodies (1/3)

• Managed by Animal Health Australia

• See


– At least 10 animals per herd

– 5 to 7 months old and seronegative at start of monitoring

– Sampled throughout the year

– Tested by ELISA, VI & SNT on positives

– Molecular characterisation of isolates

– Austvetplan…action plan in place in case of Outbreak

Vector Monitoring

• Conducted under National Arbovirus Monitoring Program

• Network of monitoring by light traps

• Collections identified to species

• Counted (total numbers, stages)

• Ongoing research

NAMP Database Management

• Sentinel herds and vector monitoring results are entered online onto the National Arbovirus Monitoring Program website

– password protected area prompt data entry

• Rapid searching & sorting of current national data possible

• Computerised national BTV risk forecasting system now developed

• Export & Trade

• Export and trade is very Important for Australia.

• Before any alpaca is sourced for Export, I as an Exporter will contact the Department of Primary Industries or Dept of Lands (NSW), to obtain the disease status of the property of source.

• The CVO of the department of the region sourced will look up the NAMP and confirm that the property is free from any Bluetongue Virus

• Export Permit is only issued when AQIS issues Export Health Certificate

• AQIS certifies according to current BTV zone map, providing acceptable to importing country

Elements relevant to zoning


Constructing the zones


Animal Husbandry

• Mainly extensive livestock grazing in Australia

• Cattle, sheep & goats rarely housed

– no opportunity for vectors to “over-winter” in animal houses

– Recognition of Australia’s BTV zoning by other countries

• USA formally recognised in 2000

• Canada formally recognised in 1999

• Mexico recognised in 1998

• Japan, South Africa & Israel have recognised for many years

EU endorses concept of zoning


Using the BTV free zone

• Ruminants for export live in the free zone for at least:

• a) 60 days without test OR

• b) 28 days with negative ELISA OR

• c) 7 days with negative VI or PCR

AND were not transported through an infected zone en route to the port

Countries importing livestock and their products from Australia have varying definitions of the “BTV Free Zones”. It is generally accepted that Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia south of the 26th parallel, are free of both BTV and the midges that spread it.

Zoning now adopted in UK & Europe is based on the same principle as Australia


Study 1

Instituto de Virología, Centro de Investigaciones en Ciencias Veterinarias (CICV), Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA), Castelar, Morón, Argentina


This study analysed sera from 390 llamas (Lama glama) from nine farms located in three different Argentine provinces: Buenos Aires, Cordoba and Jujuy. The samples were tested for antibodies against 8 virus known to infect cattle: bovine herpesvirus type 1 (BHV-1), bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV), bovine adenovirus (BAdV III), bovine enterovirus (BEV), bovine rotavirus (BRV), bluetongue virus (BTV), bovine leukaemia virus (BLV), and foot-and-mouth virus (FMDV) by conventional methods such as seroneutralization, immunoperoxidase staining, and agar gel immunodiffusion.

The antibody prevalences detected in llamas were: BHV-1 in 0.77 % (3/390), BVDV in 2.05 % (8/390), BAdV III in 5.13 % (20/390), BEV in 4.10 % (16/390), BRV in 87.69 % (342/390). No antibodies against BTV, BLV and VIAA (FMDV infection associated antigen) were detected.

Study 2

In January 1993, two healthy adult male llamas obtained from Llamas of Michigan Caledonia, Michigan, USA) were housed in an insectproof animal isolation room of a biocontainment facility of the Animal Diseases Research Institute, Nepean, Ontario, Canada. Each llama was inoculated by intravenous (10.0 ml), subcutaneous (1.0 ml) and intradermal (1.0 ml) routes with a suckling mouse brain stock of BTV serotype 10, containing approximately 10ıı/ml plaque forming units of the virus. Serum samples were obtained prior to inoculation and on weekly intervals post inoculation for 9 wk. The llamas were housed in isolation facilities and were cared and handled according to the guidelines of the Canadian Council on Animal Care.

Both llamas inoculated with BTV serotype 10 remained healthy throughout the period of this study and had no clinical signs suggestive of bluetongue. However, both animals developed antibodies to BTV infection. B!uetongue virus antibodies were

detected by the C-ELISA test, at approximately 70% inhibition value as early as 1 wk post-infection (WPI) in one llama and 2 WPI in the other. The C-ELISA group specific antibodies to BTV increased exponential!y during the first four weeks in both llamas before becoming relatively stable at elevated levels of 90% inhibition values during the remaining 5 wk of the

experiment. Neutralizing antibodies first were detected by the MTSN test, at 1:20 serum dilution, between 2 and 3 WPI in the llamas and then elevated to higher 1evels of 1:80 to 1:160 during the remaining period of the experiment. Al! sera with the exception

Study 3,7.pdf

In South America, Rivera et al. (1987) showed that camelids can be infected with BTV when 21%

of over 100 sampled alpaca (Lama pacos) were positive for BTV-specific antibodies. All of these

animals were clinically healthy.

In the recent Outbreak, in Europe ,2007

Lethal bluetongue virus infection in an alpaca

M. Henrich1, M. Reinacher1 and H. P. Hamann2

1 Institut für Veterinär-Pathologie, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Frankfurter Strasse 96, 35392 Giessen, Germany
2 Landesbetrieb Hessisches Landeslabor, Marburger Strasse 54, 35396 Giessen, Germany

SIR, - We would like to report a case of lethal bluetongue virus infection in an alpaca in Germany. The affected animal was a five-year-old female alpaca, born and raised in a flock in a low mountain range area in central Germany. This area was affected by the bluetongue virus outbreak in Germany in 2007. Within a radius of 5 km, clinically evident bluetongue virus infection in sheep and cattle was reported, with high mortality in affected sheep.

The alpaca herd was housed in an open stable with unrestricted access to pasture during daytime, but was kept inside the stable at night (including dusk and dawn); however, the stable was not completely protected against flying insects.

Three months before its death the alpaca gave birth to a healthy cria, which was weaned at the time of death of the mother. Four weeks before the animal died, it showed signs of colic with recumbency and tympanic abdomen. The animal was degassed via nasogastric intubation and recovered quickly, but the cause of the clinical signs remained undetected.

Immediately before the fatal bluetongue virus infection, mother and cria were in excellent body condition, and both showed no signs of an underlying disease.

Acute clinical signs started with 'hiccup-like' breathing and a stertorous sound discernible via auscultation. One hour later the animal was inappetent, recumbent and lethargic. Seven hours later the animal was observed coughing and mildly disorientated. Fourteen hours after the first observation of signs the animal died.

On postmortem examination, the animal showed severe, acute, diffuse, interstitial and alveolar oedema of the lungs. In the oral cavity, single small erosions and ulcerations on the tongue, palate and buccal mucosa could be observed.

As well as postmortem changes and acute congestion of the liver, spleen and kidneys, histopathology revealed severe congestion, interstitial and alveolar oedema of the lung, and mild hypertrophy of type II pneumocytes.

Focal haemorrhages in the tunica media at the base of the pulmonary artery, a common finding in bluetongue virus infections in sheep, were not observed.

PCR revealed sequences of bluetongue virus in tissue samples (blood, lymph nodes and spleen), whereas no sequences of ovine herpesvirus type 2 were detectable.

The rest of the herd, including the cria, remain healthy and show no signs of bluetongue virus infection.

In the above case, the report it says that there were evidence that alpaca had come in contact with BTV, but no evidence the alpaca died of BTV.

The report says the alpaca was sick approx 1 month previous, and theory is the alpaca was immune suppressed, which made it more susceptible, and most likely died of the later.

Studies in Africa

There have been many studies performed in Africa on One Humped Camels.

They do throw up antibodies when exposed to BTV, although lower in numbers than other species.

The camels do not get sick with BTV, and there has been no reports of camels having died of BTV, and no evidence that they or Camelids are carriers of the disease.

It is considered that Camelids are a “low risk species”

lets look at the map again

aust eu


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My heartful best wishes to our friends in Canterbury area NZ,

My heart goest to our NZ friends, and families, whilst they pick up the pieces, and start to rebuild.
The last couple of years we have all had the worst that Nature could push upon us.
Devasting Fires, Devastating Floods, Devasting Cyclones, Deavastating Earthquakes....
There is help, that gets you through th initial cleanup.... it is the afterwards that takes time to heal.
Our thoughts are with you all in New Zealand, and especially the ones closest to the quake and aftershocks.

Monday, February 21, 2011

20 years ago today we purchased our first 2 female alpacas, and a male weanling.

20 years today we bought our first 2 alpacas, and little did we know what adventure these magical animals would take us.
Little did we know of the journey, the fun, the achievements they would bring us.
At the time 20 years ago, friends and neighbours thought we had gone crazy.
it was like shooting an arrow into the sky.

Well, the alpacas have shone through, whilst other exotic species, and new breeds were being introduced, and fads in farming , eucalyptus plantations, deer, ostrich, emu to mention a few.
they came and went, but Alpacas have just grown and grown, and like a child, our industry now has come through the crawling stage of setting up our associations, and labels, and research.
The industry now is starting the next phase is starting to walk on it's own 2 feet.
We just have to make sure we have the right people in the helm to guide us through, to a very succesful Industry.

We have had the most wonderful time with the alpacas, and we have never regreted one day of owning them.

Our herd, is already being taken up by our daughter, and our grandson, be him 1 year old, has already fed his first cria, and will snuggle up with a baby alpaca, i think his destination is all set out for him.

And what a wonderful future we hold for their future

Thank you....Incka, WindWhistler, Ziegfield, (our fiest 2), Stefano, Cristiano, Patche', Vallon, Yaquanza, El Condor, Iceburg, Hannah, Sensation, Wednesday, Jo Ling, Rheannan, (the very first alpaca of our own we sold), Sabuti, Zazzou, Montoya, Jesse, Telinga....i can only mention a few.
Since we have had alpacas, we have now had 1182 births, and thousands of alpacas have gone through our farms, we have set up many new breeders, and assisted many in selling their alpacas, we have assisted in opening up new marketplaces in the world for alpacas, and assisted others to great gains.
To us a great achievement, and i saw the photos that Hubble telescope took on it's 20 th Anniversary i thought these were just as fitting.

I hope you one day will celebrate 20 years and starting your next 20 years in this wonderful Industry.

Australian Alpacas

Why Australian Alpacas?
It is amazing how far Alpacas have come from our fiurst beginnings over 20 years ago.
Every year, we look at our breeding and say can we get better, and every year, they do.
It is amazing how much improvement is made each year.
It is so rewarding to see the next crop of progeny.
It is so rewarding.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


THe qualities of alpaca fleece

As with all fleece-producing animals, quality varies from animal to animal, and some alpacas produce fiber which is less than ideal. Fiber and conformation are the two most important factors in determining an alpaca's value.

Alpacas come in many shades from a true-blue black through browns-black, browns, fawns, white, silver-greys, and rose-greys.[1] However, white is predominant,[1] because of selective breeding: the white fiber can be dyed in the largest ranges of colors. In South America, the preference is for white as they generally have better fleece than the darker-colored animals. This is because the dark colors had been all but bred out of the animals. The demand for darker fiber sprung up in the United States and elsewhere, however in order to reintroduce the colors, the quality of the darker fiber has decreased slightly. Breeders have been diligently working on breeding dark animals with exceptional fiber, and much progress has been made in these areas over the last 5–7 years.[citation needed]

[edit] Dyeing Alpaca fiberBefore dyeing the alpaca fiber must go through other stages:

Selection of wool, according to color, size and quality of fiber

"Escarminado", Removal of grass, dirt, thorns, and other impurities

Washing, to remove all the dirt and grease.


Once the fiber is clean then it is possible to begin with the process of dyeing.

Natural dyeing: (recipe used by Andean artisans): To dye 1 kg of alpaca wool with cochinilla (natural dye).

Boil 5 liters of water in an aluminum can with 100 g of cochinilla for an hour.

Sift and put the wool in the water.

Boil again for an hour and add 50 lemons cut in halves.

Then take out the wool and hang for drying.

Note: For dyeing with another natural dye (native plants) add 2 kg, of the products to the water and boil.

How easy are alpacas to handle

I often get asked how easy are alpacas to handle.
They are extrmeely intelligent, and i believe they work alot on body language not only amongst each other, but with humans as well.
As you can see here, Elyse is drafting alpacas and sorting them into groups.
She has a wand in one hand which is only used as an arm extension.
Alpacas respond well to boundaries, and only holding the wand out in front of them gives their boundaries which they rarely will go for.
THey will walk away from the boundary and as you can see here, they are easily sorted by 1 person.
Mind you, Elyse knows every alpaca very well, and although they always look so different when they have just been shorn.
You just need to look a bit closer and you can reconise each's eyes or facial features, and they are easily reconisable.
I believe, that you need to know every alpaca in your care, and their body language.
This is very important, as Alpacas are stoid animals, and will mask any illness.
by knowing theiur body language, you can pick up pretty quickly if one is not quie right on that day.
Peopel think as you may have alot of animals, they are just animals, but they are far from being right.
Each animal on our farm, be it a goat, sheep, or alpaca, we know each and every one of them, we are there for each's birth, we were there for their conception, and we see them grow up, and admire each ones qualities.
Although some do stand out from the others, every time the herd is bought up to the handling yards, ELyse will tickle every single baby, and even as adults will come to ELyse just for that affectionate cuddle.
This respect you gain through constant handling is especially important in case there is a difficult birth, and the female needs assistance, she is readily there allowing you to assist, instead of running off and making things worse.
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