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Traveling with your Alpacas or Llamas

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Traveling with your alpacas or llamas is something that takes some planning, and what is involved in those plans depends on whether or not you are taking your animals somewhere within your state of residence, or to another state.

If you are traveling within your state, there are not any official documents that must be filled out. However, some shows and auctions, and even some breeding facilities/farms, may require testing regardless of your animal’s in-state status. It is best to call ahead at least a couple of weeks, to find out what might be required. 

Traveling outside of your state does require official documents, and often some form of testing or treatment. Most states require at least a health certificate or Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI). This is obtained from a veterinarian after an examination has been performed, and it is only good for 30 days after the date of exam. A number of things must be filled out on a CVI, including the name and address of origin, name and address of destination, shipping arrangements, date of travel, number of animals in the shipment, the animals’ information, and veterinarians’ information and signature. In addition there are some things that may need to be filled out, including permit number, testing results, and any statements or treatment that the destination state requires. Health certificates or CVI are required so that animal movement can be tracked in the event of a disease outbreak (such as Tuberculosis, West Nile Virus, Rabies, etc).

Testing, if required, varies from state to state and is dependent on the state of origin and the diseases present in that state or region. The types of testing that may be required include Tuberculosis, Brucellosis, Blue Tongue, and Anaplasmosis, to name the most common. Some states also require testing or treatment for certain external parasites. The testing must be done by your veterinarian prior to them signing off on the CVI. The requirements are constantly changing so it is best to call the destination state at least a couple of weeks prior to the intended date of departure to confirm the requirements. This call can be made by either the owner or their veterinarian.   

By visiting the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) website. ( you can find links to each state which give their general requirements for transport to within their borders.



Dr. Jacquelyn (Jackie) Waltner has been a practicing camelid veterinarian in the Pacific Northwest since 1997. She first became involved in the camelid community as a student at Oregon State University in 1992 when she began working with their llama and alpaca research herd. Jackie graduated from Oregon State University with her Bachelor of Science in Zoology in 1993, followed by a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Washington State University in 1997. “Dr. Jackie”, as she is affectionately referred to by her long time clients, brings an extensive camelid background, in part from working as a resident veterinarian for the largest alpaca producer in North America and also as a respected solo-practitioner. In 1999 Dr. Jackie began working in a mixed practice where she became dedicated to bettering the lives of companion animals. She continues to enjoy working with a variety of small animals.


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