Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Current procedures for ranching and sustainable use of guanacos necessitate their transport. Transportation is a risky process for animals, and is a particular concern for wild-caught or semi-domesticated species such as the guanaco - a wild South American camelid species increasingly being established on farms in Chile and Argentina. This study investigated the effect of transport on the physiological and behavioural responses of eight castrated adult male guanacos, transported on a single 2 h journey at a stocking density of 113.5 kg m-2(0.76 m2per animal). Plasma cortisol and blood glucose concentration, total and differential white blood cell (WBC) counts, heart rate, and body weight were measured one week before, immediately before, immediately after, 2 h after and one week after transport. Behavioural responses were recorded during handling prior to loading. Immediately after transport we found significant increases in plasma cortisol concentrations and neutrophil:lymphocyte (N:L) ratio, the latter peaking 2 h after transport. Heart rate increased significantly only during loading, while body weight remained constant throughout. Behavioural responses related to handling (jumping, vocalising, kicking, spitting and urinating) were not associated with the physiological response. All variables returned to pre-transport values within one week. Transport of guanacos under these conditions produced physiological changes similar to those associated with a mild and transient stress response in other species and which, we judge, fall comfortably within acceptable limits for their welfare. © 2004 Universities Federation for Animal Welfare.


Journal article


Animal Welfare

Publication Date





439 - 444