Med. Weter. 77

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Alpacas in Poland: health, welfare, and anti-parasitic prophylaxis
Alpacas’ population in Poland has attained 5000 individuals. From 2020 alpacas are recognized as farm animals in Poland. This ruminant is increasingly popular, but still poorly known compared to other farm animals (cattle, sheep, goats). The aim of this review is to present the specificity of alpacas in terms of adequate welfare of these animals. To provide an appropriate welfare level, the knowledge about the species’ biology and typical behaviour is needed. The basis for assessment of the animal's health status is the knowledge of basic physiological indicators, whose divergence from reference values is often the first symptom of many diseases. The health and welfare of virtually all animal species are influenced by infestations by endo- and exoparasites, which can cause many disorders and serious diseases. The growing alpaca population size necessitates investigation of this species, which will help future and current owners to breed these animals and prompt veterinarians to apply appropriate treatment of alpacas bred in Poland.
Key words: Alpaca, physiological parameters, behaviour, parasites