Buying alpacas online, like many other purchases has become common place but there are some unique issues that need to be considered when purchasing your alpaca.
Firstly the alpaca is obviously a living thing and as a consequence accidents do happen and animals die and suffer illness.
It is normal in livestock sales that ownership transfers to the purchaser upon payment. As an alpaca cannot be posted in the mail the buyer does need to consider what are the legal ramifications if the alpaca is left on the farm of the seller, until collection, in the event that the alpaca is injured or dies while on farm.
If you purchase an animal from an auction the agents encourage buyers to insure the stock they purchase. This should also be considered when buying online. Insurance should also be considered when using livestock transport.
When you purchase a dress or a pair of shoes on line it’s pretty easy to say the dress doesn’t fit or it’s not as advertised, but with animals the information posted is very subjective, it’s very difficult to prove that an alpaca is defective or not as advertised unless you have actually inspected the alpaca. Ideally if you cannot inspect animals yourself, you could insist on a veterinary inspection or have a trusted agent inspect the alpacas being sold.
If your alpaca does get injured, dies or becomes sick you should insist on photographs and/or veterinary reports. This information will be required for an insurance claim if the alpacas are insured.
In the event that you choose not to insure your alpaca purchase you must be aware that once money changes hands the alpaca effectively becomes your responsibility. In the event that the animal remains on the farm of the vendor until collection you need to seek clarification from the vendor about what will be happen in the event that the alpacas is injured or dies.
Most alpaca breeders try to do their best to ensure that animals are safe and healthy while they remain on farm, but purchasers must be aware that the vendor does not have any liability to refund purchase prices in the event that animals are injured or die while on the vendors farm post sale.