BLS Sales Code of Conduct

The purpose of this code is:

  • To help buyers, particularly first-time buyers, to avoid pitfalls in the purchase process.
  • To promote the well-being of the animals being sold.
  • To provide sellers with a minimum standard to which they should conduct their sales.

Please note that not all llamas make good field pets or are suitable for trekking or make satisfactory livestock guardians.

To help ensure your introduction to llamas is a good one we recommend that prospective purchasers of llamas join the BLS and buy only from members who are signatories to this code.

Do not hesitate to ask the sellers if they are signatories.  They should be able and happy to show you their current certificate.

The British Llama Society does not accept advertising and will not promote the sale of llamas by anyone who has not signed the code.

Signatories to this code are issued with a dated certificate, which should be renewed every five years by application.

A separate addition to the code is available for the sale of guanacos.

When selling or offering for sale any llama the signatory member of the British Llama Society undertakes:

1. To give appropriate advice and full information on the pros and cons of owning llamas to any purchaser.

2. To offer purchasers after-sales advice whenever needed, particularly concerning care and welfare.

3. To give full and appropriate advice on choosing the right animal for the purchaser’s intended purpose.

4. To declare any known faults in conformation or temperament that could hamper or obstruct the purpose for which the llama is purchased.

5. To not knowingly offer cross-bred, in-bred, or infertile stock, or related pairs without declaring them as such.

6. To provide purchasers with a full record of the animal’s breeding and veterinary history, including worming, vaccinations, etc. as far as they are known.

7. To ensure that purchasers understand that, if they have more than one entire male, the males will need to be kept separately if within sight or smell of a female.

8.1 That crias will not be bottle-fed/ hand-reared except in life-threatening circumstances, in which case the fact that an animal has been reared in this way will be declared to a potential purchaser.

8.2 To explain to all purchasers of camelids that are capable of breeding that, although bottle-fed/hand-reared youngsters are extremely tame and friendly when small they are very likely to become extremely difficult to manage when they mature.

8.3 To explain that any male camelid that has been reared in this way should be castrated between six and twelve months of age but that castration might not necessarily prevent such problems.

8.4 To request all purchasers of animals capable of breeding, to pass on this information to anyone who might buy from them in the future.

9. Females sold as pregnant are declared –

  1. Confirmed pregnant: only following a blood test or ultrasound scan and there has been no reason to suspect a miscarriage.

  2. Believed pregnant: only when mating has been witnessed and subsequent putting of the male to the female has been witnessed and not resulted in further mating.
  3. Possibly pregnant: where no mating has been witnessed but an adult female has been running with an adult male.

10. To advise purchasers:

  1. that female camelids should not be intentionally mated until they have attained at least 60% of their likely adult weight or be at least eighteen months of age.

  2. that it is possible for mating and conception to occur at as young an age as nine months and that this is detrimental to the well-being of the female.  This must be borne in mind if young males and females are to be kept together.

11. To ensure that when declaring that an animal is handleable or halter-trained the animal can be led and the halter be easily put in place with minimum stress to animal and/or handler.

12. To ensure suitable transport is provided for the llamas.

Signatories to this code are duty bound not to sell llamas:

… without ensuring that purchasers understand the long-term commitment.

… as being “easy-to-keep” without making it clear that all livestock needs daily observation, care and attention, and can be subject to health and other problems.

…without making every effort to ensure that the new home offers adequate grazing, shelter, fencing, and fresh water, etc.

If any purchaser or prospective purchaser, having joined the BLS, believes that the terms of this code have been breached, the matter should be referred to the society committee, which will investigate and take appropriate action.