Following the official handover to the department at the end of June, the PEQ team spent the first half of July ensuring that the new ruminant compound was fit for purpose before commencing operations later in the year.
During this operational commissioning phase 30 locally sourced alpacas checked into the compound to run through operational processes. This test run was part of quality assurance activities to ensure the compound is ready to start accepting imported stock from August.
Alpacas are the most common ruminant expected to come through the Mickleham PEQ facility.
While alpacas are the most common ruminant - a type of mammal with multiple stomachs - expected to come through the Mickleham PEQ facility, other frequently imported types could include llamas.
The alpacas were initially surprised by their first-ever night spent under a roof instead of the open sky, but they soon settled into their new accommodation and made themselves at home. In fact, it wasn't long before they started wandering around and exploring the six large turnout paddocks surrounding the pens.
The alpacas exploring the turnout paddocks.
After spending just under two weeks at the Mickleham PEQ facility, the alpacas returned to their home farm in Northern Victoria. Thanks to their test run, future imported ruminants will enjoy a smooth transition through Australia's post entry quarantine.
The alpacas soon settled into their new accomodation and made themselves at home.
In other exciting news, on 4 August the Mickleham PEQ facility was announced as the winner of the category for Excellence in Construction of Industrial Buildings, in the Master Builders Association of Victoria's 2017 Building Excellence Awards.
The awards showcase outstanding craftsmanship and professional standards, and demonstrate commitment to building excellence in the commercial and industrial sectors throughout Victoria. This is further recognition that our PEQ facility in Mickleham is world-class. The facility also continues to expand with the avian compound currently under construction.