It is the Summer of 2000 and membership of the British Alpaca Society has risen to three hundred and eighty. Financially the Society was much better off with fees from registrations and import screening so that all the administration could be moved to a serviced office in West Sussex. Rachel Hebditch writes.
One of the first large screenings of alpacas took place in Chile for Atlantic Alpacas. Four of the leading screeners from the USA, two veterinary screeners and two phenotype screeners, flew in to start the lengthy task of screening 377 adult alpacas at the quarantine facility just south of Santiago.
Of course many thought the process of screening was unnecessary and expensive but it was designed to be a written confirmation that the animals had reached the base standard that was required to be admitted on to the BAS Registry and a means to stop animals with faults reaching the UK and, as such, is still used today for imports.
The Alpaca magazine was still the only means of communication with the membership but work had started on the website and the domain name had been purchased. Various working sub-committees had been set up and a site had been obtained for a BAS stand in the livestock section of the Royal Show. Meanwhile Smallholder magazine invited the BAS to take a stand at their show at the Royal Welsh showground at Builth Wells. BAS chairman Chas Brooke gave a lecture on alpacas each day whilst Mike Coghlan did the commentary for a parade of our alpacas in the main ring. In May the second National Show was judged by Amanda VandenBosch at Purston Manor. Amanda was kept busy with the second round of Judge Training at Brinsbury College.