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The American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners (AASRP) issues policy statement that opposes banning camelid pack animals on public lands

The American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners (AASRP), issued the following policy statement in February 2020. This policy statement comes from a professional association of approximately 1000 U.S. practicing, research, and regulatory veterinarians charged with protecting and guarding the health of the domestic and wild species. They understand better than anyone the disease interactions of each species both within and across species lines.  AASRP Policy Statement Concerning Camelid Pack Animal Disease Risk: There exists concern that the entry of camelid pack animals (llamas, alpacas) onto public lands poses a potential risk of disease to resident endangered or threatened ungulate populations including Boreal Caribou, Northern Mountain Caribou, Central Mountain Caribou, Southern Mountain Caribou, Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goat, Dall’s Sheep, Stone’s Sheep and Roosevelt Elk. The diseases of concern by National Parks and wildlife managers include: Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae, Mannh

A "Call for Comments" on the BLM Central Yukon Draft RMP/EIS

Attention all camelid owners and friends!  The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Central Yukon Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) & Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is currently open for public comment ending March 10, 2021. At issue is BLM's proposal to hold camelids to a different standard than horses by allowing horses without a permit but requiring a permit for pack llamas in this BLM jurisdiction.   The "good news" is that BLM is not banning llamas in the Central Yukon Management Area. The "not so good news" is that BLM is holding llamas to a different standard than horses . This doesn't make sense because llamas pose no more disease risk (and less environmental impact) than horses and other traditional pack stock such as mules. The specific language we are objecting is as follows.  Maintain effective separation between domestic animals and Dall sheep (Wild Sheep Working Group 2012; consistent with BLM Manual 1730). Domestic sheep and goats are

Pack Llamas on Alaska's Public Lands

Lost Lake Trail - Chugach National Forest, Alaska Pack llamas have historically played an important role on our public lands by both recreational and commercial users.  Low environmental impact has long been recognized as the pack llama’s advantage over traditional pack animals. For example, llamas do not have hooves but instead a leathery pad on the bottom of their foot. (The print left in the soil is quite similar in appearance to that of an elk or deer.) Llama foot anatomy allows it's foot to spread on soft ground, thereby distributing weight over a larger area. Llamas are much smaller than most equine pack stock with the average pack llama weighing between 300-400 pounds.”  Therefore it comes as no surprise that these sure-footed pack animals are used by public agencies for trail and park maintenance as they are in Rocky Mountain National Park. However, there has been a campaign of misinformation by special interest groups and subsequent proposals by government agencies to ban