Castration methods and welfare of Alpacas

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In the animal industry, castration is a valuable management tool, but it can be a source of concern from an animal welfare perspective. The existing standards for castration that have been developed for other livestock species, even the new standards, cannot be applied to alpacas because of the specific morphological and developmental characteristics of the alpaca. The best method to castrate alpacas is still being debated amongst animal protection groups, producers, animal scientists, and veterinarians. Each group has opinions about which method(s) could address their specific concerns, but a consensus is yet to be found.

The present project aimed to validate a standard method of castration for alpacas that could be recommended to either veterinarians or alpaca producers, and would be acceptable in welfare terms.

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