Camelid TB Support & Research Group

Mike Birch                            

Dianne Summers                 

Help and Support for those affected by Bovine TB in Alpacas & Llamas


07711 927526

01209 822422  Mobile 07949 511396

Thanks to over 30 members of the TB Support Group who have given their data and experiences of bTB in their herds. It is from the information gathered from the data provided by these members that has produced much of the advice contained on this website. Thank you. Also thanks to senior members of DEFRA/AH/and the VLA for working closely with the TB Support group. It is a relationship very much appreciated by  us all.

Welcome to the TB in Alpacas & Llamas Website

The purpose of this website is two-fold. First and most importantly it is to provide help, information and advice to those who suffer a bTB breakdown in their herd. We hope it will give you enough information to help you through the sometimes traumatic experience that may lie ahead. You will be faced with difficult decisions and we hope this website will help you.

Secondly it is to educate all camelid owners about bTB with the hope that the advice given will greatly reduce the risk of it happening to you and your herd.

It is difficult putting a website together that serves both purposes, and no doubt it won’t please everyone - but sometimes the truth isn’t what we want to hear. Finding the right balance is difficult. The last thing we want to achieve is having herds that have been, or are under, restriction being treated like the plague (we already suffer enough without that) but at the same time the facts about TB in camelids need to be publicised so everyone can make their own decisions and ask the right questions.

The TB situation in Camelids over the past few years has increased dramatically and is now listed by the VLA (Veterinary Laboratories Agency) on their “Veterinary information sheet - aide memoir for the diagnosis of common disease syndromes” in Camelids (you can see VLA document here)

TB has affected herds of all sizes, from large commercial breeders to those who keep them as much loved pets - TB does not discriminate. (See here)

Camelid Herds have been infected with TB by local wildlife, by purchased stock, by agisted mating, by short and long term agistment and movements. An infected camelid is the most likely vector for herds outside of bTB hotspots, and pre-movement blood testing is now available - no responsible vendor should object to testing before takle delivery of a new animal.

Camelids are susceptible to bTB and it kills them - in some cases quickly, and in others in a slow and insidious way. Camelids can appear healthy and yet be heavily infected with TB and highly infectious to herdmates, other stock and people.

Initial detection of bTB in a herd is reliant on responsible owners testing animals that they suspect may have bTB, having a Post mortem examination following a death or a vet informing Animal Health if they suspect that a sick camelid may have TB. Not all owners carry out PMs on their losses and not all vets are aware of TB in camelids, therefore TB  often goes undetected and can be (and has been) sold on.  

Some herds have been placed under restriction not because they themselves have had a PM on a loss, but because a camelid that they had sold had gone on to die. The new owners had a PM and TB was traced back to the originating breeder.

Bovine Tuberculosis can affect you anywhere in the UK, but your herd is at an increased risk if you are situated in, or have contact with herds in, an endemic bTB area as indicated by the red areas on the DEFRA parish testing map.

No images, data or any part of this website may be used for commercial purposes. Advice and information on this website is given in good faith. It is essential that you consult your Vet and/or AHO before making any decisions on diagnosis or treatment of your animals.  We make every effort to keep official documentation up to date but where guidance is given on official policies, please bear in mind they may have changed so you MUST check and confirm current policy and procedures with DEFRA/AH. Advice and updates will be posted as and when information becomes available to us.

Unique visitors

Currently On site

As from Jan 2011

Do you live in a high risk area? Click here

Click here for table provided by Defra.

This does not include newly restricted herds under suspicion awaiting  culture confirmation.

Data kindly provided quarterly by DEFRA

Defra figures including the first part of  2015 show that the total number of  alpaca and llama herds that have had confirmed zoonotic TB (m.bovis) in England and Wales is:  


Defra cattle Parish testing interval map

Pre movement testing is available - Test your new alpacas before you introduce them to your herd . See here