Australian alpaca farmers to benefit from trade deal with Chile

By Shannon Jenkins

Friday June 18, 2021

Australia has inked a deal allowing the live export of alpacas to Chile. (Adobe/linaskk)

Australia has inked a deal allowing the live export of alpacas to Chile, which the commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) says will deliver benefits to the local industry.

The export of alpacas would give Chile access to quality Australian genetics and improve its national herd, according to DAWE biosecurity head Andrew Tongue.

“Australian animals and fleeces are now ranked among the world’s best with Australian alpaca fibre used in high fashion garments, as well as knitwear, blankets, doonas and even carpets,” he said in a statement.

DAWE has worked closely with the Australian Alpaca Association to ensure the agreement meets Chile’s biosecurity needs without placing undue burden or costs on Australian exporters, Tongue noted.

“Health certification requirements are the foundation for trade in animals and this agreement means we can continue to build on trade opportunities as we work to revitalise our primary industries,” he said.

“This is a significant new market for Australian livestock with the potential to provide support to this niche but valuable industry and bring real returns to producers at the farmgate.”

Australia currently exports alpacas to a number of countries including Malaysia, South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, and China.

The agreement has followed technical market access negotiations to establish trade in alpacas from Australia to Chile.

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