Ballycastle chairman Lee enjoys ‘Alpaca Picnic’ at Stormont

Lee Kane, Ballycastle, Chair of the Northern Ireland Alpaca Group, welcomes Secretary of State, James Brokenshire MP, to the Alpaca Picnic at Stormont on Sunday 27 August. � Catrina Moore
Lee Kane, Ballycastle, Chair of the Northern Ireland Alpaca Group, welcomes Secretary of State, James Brokenshire MP, to the Alpaca Picnic at Stormont on Sunday 27 August. � Catrina Moore

The Northern Ireland Alpaca Group (NIAG) has enjoyed a great day out at their first annual Alpaca Picnic - and their Ballycastle chairman hailed the event as a great success.

Alpacas from herds across Northern Ireland were joined by hundreds of visitors in the stunning surroundings of Stormont Estate on August 27.

NIAG Chair, Lee Kane from Causeway Alpacas, Ballycastle, said the day was about showcasing the small, but growing, alpaca community in Northern Ireland.

“It’s great to see the interest our animals receive. Many people do not know that there are alpacas living happily in all parts of Northern Ireland. Many are kept as pets, while other are used to guard sheep and hens.

“Of course, it’s the fleece that makes the alpaca so special. Softer, yet stronger, than cashmere, it’s easy to see why the fleece has been prized by people all over the world for centuries.”

As well as providing a social space for alpaca keepers, the group aims to champion the welfare of alpacas kept in Northern Ireland.

Lee continued: “We love our animals and go to great lengths to make sure they are happy and healthy at all times. And we are passionate about helping each other to do the same.

“Sadly, we hear too many stories of people buying alpacas from disreputable breeders, without even a basic understanding of how to care for their new animals.

“We strongly advise anyone interested in keeping alpacas to do lots of research and to speak to as many breeders as they can before making the leap and getting their first animals. For more information visit the NIAG website – www.alpacani.org”