Alpaca bovine TB outbreak in Wivelsfield
An outbreak of bovine TB has led to hundreds of alpacas being culled at a Sussex farm.
The animals contracted the disease at a farm in Wivelsfield and had to be culled to prevent the outbreak spreading. Less than six per cent of the 1,000+ UK farms that farm alpacas have been affected by an outbreak in the past four years.
Shaun Daniel, chairman of the British Alpaca Society said that it is rare for alpacas to contract TB and that it is more common in cattle and badgers.
Commenting on the latest outbreak in Sussex, he said: "It's a tragedy for the farmer, there were several hundred animals there which had fallen to TB."
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"We don't want to create hysteria over TB, it is about dealing with it sensibly and practically and working with the authorities to eradicate the disease."
The animals are farmed for their wool and have become an increasingly common site across the British countryside.
A spokeswoman for the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency said: "We can confirm several hundred alpacas have been culled at a premises in Sussex after testing positive for TB.
"Every incident of TB is serious to the animal owner involved, and in each case it is important to take action to prevent the spread of the disease to other holdings."