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Source: Alpaca Owners Association news release

Alpaca Registry, Inc. and Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association have announced that their members have voted to approve a merger to form a single organization. The newly formed Alpaca Owners Association, Inc. (AOA) represents over 10,000 members.

"Forming a single organization eliminates duplication in office staff, technology, insurance, elections, financial audits and office space, among other things," said Bonnie Potter, President, AOA Board of Directors. "Equally important for our members is having a single organization to call to get all questions answered and a single internet gateway where they, and the public, can access information about alpaca farms, alpaca shows and other aspects of our industry. "

Potter said that by combining the strengths and resources of both organizations into one, they will be able to provide a higher level of service and support to members.

Headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska, AOA serves as the national livestock association for alpacas in North America. As the largest alpaca association in the world, AOA facilitates the expansion of a strong and sustainable alpaca industry through the tracking of bloodlines, registration and transfer of alpacas, national educational outreach, the national show system, marketing, public relations and its highly respected judges training program.

Current members of AOBA and ARI have been transferred to Alpaca Owners Association, Inc.

The merger became effective on January 14, 2014. For more information, call (402) 437-8484 or visit

About Alpacas
Alpacas, cousins to the llama, are beautiful, intelligent animals native to the Andean Mountain range of South America, particularly Peru, Bolivia and Chile. The United States first commercially imported alpacas in 1984. There are now more than 194,000 ARI (Alpaca Registry, Inc.) registered alpacas in North America.

Today, the United States boasts two types of alpacas. Although almost physically identical, the two types of alpacas are distinguished by their fiber.

The Huacaya (wa-Ki'-ah) is the more common of the two and has a fluffy, extremely fine coat. On the other hand, the Suri (SUR-ee) is more rare and has fiber that is silky and resembles pencil-locks.

Adult alpacas stand at approximately 36 inches at the withers and generally weigh between 150 and 200 pounds. They do not have horns, hooves, claws or incisors.

Alpacas are alert, intelligent, curious and predictable. Social animals that seek companionship, they communicate most commonly by softly humming.

About Alpaca Fiber
Alpacas are shorn, without harm, every twelve to eighteen months. Each alpaca can produce five to ten pounds of luxurious fiber.

Long ago, this fiber was reserved for royalty. Today, it is purchased in its raw fleece form by hand-spinners and fiber artists, while knitters buy it as yarn.

Because of its soft texture, alpaca fiber is sometimes compared to cashmere. The fiber also has the luster of silk, making it even more coveted.

Alpaca is just as warm as wool, yet it is a mere 1/3 the weight. It comes in 22 natural colors and can be dyed any desired shade.

Containing no lanolin, alpaca fiber is also naturally hypoallergenic. Most people who are sensitive to wool find that they can wear alpaca without the itching or irritation they feel from wool because alpaca fiber is smooth.

Additional performance characteristics include: stretch, water repellency and odor reduction. For travelers, clothing made from alpaca is desirable because it is wrinkle-resistant.

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