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Importing exotic animals

 
Steve Nicolini
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Has anyone ever imported any pets from South America?  Alpacas, Super-Cui, anything? 
 
Leah Sattler
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are you having trouble finding what you want in the states? what are you looking for/wanting specifically? you need to check with the usda to figure out what you are and aren't allowed to import and what steps need to beĀ  taken to get them. there will probably be a quarantine period. it is expensive to import animals. I tried to get a chilean dwarf tegu from south america years ago but it was not allowed due to its status. rode horses imported from europe and there were alot of hoops that had to be jumped through to get them here. I think you need to find something local at all costs. many south american animals are very specialized and aren't going to neccesarily adapt to their new new home or be cabable of being economical production animals.
 
Steve Nicolini
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I am interested in super-cui, the 7 pound South American guinea pigs.  I guess I should just check with USDA.  But that is a good point on the adaptability of certain animals.  Did you ever get an animal that couldn't adapt?
 
Leah Sattler
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I've had experience with ball pythons taken from the wild that didn't adapt well. they wanted to eat gerbils and only gerbils. so had to feed them gerbils which weren't always available. you are talking about a domestic animal though so it would be a bit different. out of curiousity I looked into the guinea pigs a bit. looking for things that might affect importation. good things are of course that they are easy to transport. but some things to look into further that could be a problem with importation on a practical level....

under hygiene

"guinea pigs are notorious for there susceptability to many diseases"

www.metafro.be/leisa/1989/5-1-22.pdf

also....

"They do not respond well to sudden changes in diet; they may stop eating and starve rather than accepting new food types.[52"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guinea_pig

of course guinea pigs managed to make it all over the world on ships as novelty pets hundreds of years ago so I can't imagine that importing them in modern times can't be done.
may I ask why the cui and not rabbits? alot of energy could be spent to get the cui stock and most people from what I read think they are far inferior to rabbits as meat animals. or are you wanting to have them both for the'rabbits eat guinea pig poop' thing?
 
Susan Monroe
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Location: Western WA
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Here's some info on importing animals from The New York Animal Import Center.

One thing in the article that jumped out at me:  "VS [Veterinary Services] regulates the importation of animals and animal-derived materials to ensure that exotic animal
and poultry diseases are not introduced into the United States. Animals that are susceptible to or are capable of carrying diseases or pests that could seriously endanger U.S. domestic livestock or poultry must be imported through a U.S. animal import center."

If there is any danger, you might have to import them dead, which would seriously compromise any breeding plant.

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/animal_health/content/printable_version/fs_ny_animal_import_center.pdf

Sue
 
Leah Sattler
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I seem to remember the horses had to be in quarantine for 3 weeks at special designated facilities. they always came out looking like crap. I would be worried that you would end up with dead ones too.
 
Steve Nicolini
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This sounds like a lot of time and money and energy to get the super cui over here.  We have about ten people living here, and most of us want to raise meat rabbits.  Some people were ranting about these super-cui and how they kill rats and mice and eat rabbit poop etc.  Plus the weight exceeded the rabbits I think.  I just wanted to weigh it out, but now with this info. it seems that rabbits would be much more econimically and ecologically sound.
 
Susan Monroe
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Location: Western WA
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If you're really interested in them, maybe you could contact the NY Animal Import place and ask who imports them and if they could give you contact info.

Also check around for ethnic markets that might sell their meat, and find out who the supplier is.  Maybe you could buy some breeding stock. 

If the cui's were really large enough to be useful, and otherwise were typical guinea pigs, I would personally consider them more desirable because they're more tempermentally stable than rabbits.  I've never heard of GPs killing their young like rabbits do if they're stressed.

Sue
 
Leah Sattler
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and they make cute sounds and they look like alien pets to me. in fact I think they were brought to south america as a peace offering by aliens.

I'm imagining keeping them in a large outdoor area and having a hundred of those things making that that.... guinea pig sound..... all at the same time when they see you and rushing to surround your feet. I think i would like that. bunny cuteness doesn't hold a candle to guinea pig cuteness. I would have trouble offing one for sure.
 
Susan Monroe
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Location: Western WA
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Squeaking.  Yes, they've got a high cute factor.  At least if a rabbit rakes you with his/her hind claws, you'll feel better about killing and eating it.  GPs..... you look at those shiny, beady little eyes looking up at you, and you think:  tomorrow.  Or maybe the next day.  Or maybe next week...

Sue
 
Leah Sattler
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now if you could breed hairless gp's then they might be scary enough to kill
 
Steve Nicolini
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Don't forget about the jumping abilities!  Imagine seeing them jump 3 feet into the air when you came with their food! 

I killed my first mammal other than a mouse yesterday... a townsends vole.  Got a thread in cooking. 

You just have to take your heart out for about 5 seconds, then put it back in and give an effigy for the little big cui
 
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