One of the most feared diseases Europe has to offer, Tuberculosis is incurable. The disease kills over 10 million people a year worldwide. In Tuberculosis in alpaca Lama paco there were traces of the disease in the late summer of 1996. The farm’s manager, fearing for his employees health, instituted a post mortem examination, eliminating all possibilities for the disease.
The results were astonishing. Not only was there Tuberculosis in alpaca, there was also leukaemia and typhoid fever. But there were two things that the farmer’s wife told him that day. She informed him that there had been dead bodies in the lathe that day. This prompted the farmer to take a sample of the dead person’s blood.
When the tests were concluded, the inspector recommended the death sentence for all those who had been diagnosed with Tuberculosis. But, on August 6th, the alpaca farmer and his wife presented the results to the county sheriff. He explained to them that since the dead person’s blood did not contain any Tuberculosis but also other infections, there was no need to execute anyone. Then, he called up the local hospital and asked for further testing.
The laboratory tests were complete and found only one case of Tuberculosis in alpaca Lama paco. Therefore, the authorities lifted the death sentence. The following day, the director of the dairy farm visited Lama’s son. He told him that his wife had told him that there had been Tuberculosis in alpaca Lama paco, but that she had treated the sick animals with goat milk and alfalfa.
The director went to the tuberculocarpic office of the World Health Organization and explained to them the situation. On August 7th, they informed the director to close down the farm as soon as possible and to send alpaca herdsmen to the village to provide living conditions for the sick alpacas. Alpaca herdsmen were told to isolate the sick animals in a special barn. Special trucks were to bring food and alpaca ointments. The director was to continue working on improving living conditions until all the dead animals were dead.
Alpaca herdsmen found that the sick alpacas were not being fed properly in the braziers. They had low quality feed and many were dying from lack of water and food. The living conditions were horrible. The sick alpacas began to fight each other for less food. When that happened the herd leader would be murdered.
Tuberculosis is easily transmittable by animals and humans. When humans get infected with it, they can develop immune disorders that will make them more prone to developing pulmonary tuberculosis. This means that within one year there is a fifty percent chance of an infected person getting the disease. On a standard health rating scale for diseases such as AIDS and cancer, it ranks almost level with the other killers such as pneumonia and HIV/AIDS. It is not very high on the list of priorities but it should be.
The Tuberculosis infection is transmittable through touch. It is transferred through touching an infected animal or person. People who come in contact with the dead bodies of Tuberculosis sufferers will also be at risk. This means that even though the Tuberculosis disease is not prevalent in alpaca farms anymore, the Tuberculosis spores can still travel from dead bodies onto the soft flee of an alpaca. It is a sad reality but true that over one million Alpacas are used for animal meat worldwide, and the health of these delicate animals could be in danger because of it.
The animals trade is a sad business, indeed. The death of an innocent creature due to disease is a tragedy. But the real tragedy is when one billion land animals are slaughtered each year for meat, according to the USDA. If only there was some way to protect these gentle animals, we might have a much better world for future generations.
A simple solution is for alpaca farms to hire competent veterinarians on a permanent contract. This would help to contain the risk of infection to livestock, prevent the bill from passing on the disease to others, and help to recover financially from health care costs that would result. It may also be wise to institute some sort of compensation program for the victims of tuberculosis, as well. Some organizations, like the IFA (International Fund for Animals), work to set up and regulate such programs.