Cavies best on show

Madeline, Evie and Georgiana with guinea pigs Pipsqueak, Snuffles and Daisy. 288035_01 Picture: GARY SISSONS

A field of 150 guinea pigs were decked out in their finest at the 60th birthday Cavy Club show in Dandenong North on Sunday 3 July.

The Cavy Council of Victoria – which is Australia’s oldest and longest-serving Cavy Club – celebrated with a “huge turnout”, vice president Michael Carter said.

Judges from as far away as New Zealand were on hand for the major event.

Among the winners was the long-haired and aptly-named Grizzly for having the ‘Best Condition in Show’.

Cavy – the scientific word for guinea pig – is an animal that has provided great pleasure for people across generations.

“They’re a docile animal and the nature of the animal endears itself to people of all ages – we have people from 5-70 years old that are members,” Mr Carter said.

“It is a great form of social interaction and it’s a great way for kids to learn about responsible pet ownership in terms of feeding or health tips.

“Because they’re not a powerful animal, they are also ideal because children can do their own exhibiting.”

The club meets once per month with shows providing the opportunity for people to show off their pets and interact with others about the wellbeing of the animal.

On average, about 40 members attend each show with two separate competitions; one requires the animal’s appearance and presentation to adhere to a book of standards, another category judges the health and grooming of the animal.

The shows do not require the animals to physically exert, and they sit on separate mats with judges individually examining them for hygiene reasons.