Love in the air at alpaca show

THE Bendigo showgrounds were abuzz with fuzz on the weekend, as people enjoyed the Colourbration Alpaca Show.

More than 100 breeders attended the show, where they competed for glory and sold their animals to excited buyers.

Organiser Jenny Ford said about 20 people had come from New Zealand for the event, to admire quality Australian alpacas and snap up some beauties.

Australia is renowned for the quality of its alpacas worldwide. - Ian Preuss

"The industry is in a really positive phase," she said.

"One of the main appeals of alpacas is that they're very environmentally friendly."

She said alpacas had a soft print and their faeces could be used as fertiliser.

She said alpaca fleece was becoming "more and more desirable", as people wanted to buy clothes made from natural fibres.

She said alpaca fleece often didn't have to be dyed, as it came in a range of vibrant colours.

Alpaca farmer Ian Preuss, from Strathbogie, said he was thoroughly enjoying the show and had sold a few alpacas at it.

He said his business was going well and the industry was thriving.

"Australia is renowned for the quality of its alpacas worldwide," he said. "They're easy to farm, they're good natured and they're a good return on investment."

He said the industry was starting to take off in China, and much of his business consisted of exporting alpacas to the country.

Marilyn Fletcher, who has 126 alpacas on her farm, said she loved each and every one.

"They're intelligent, they're loving and their fleece is beautiful," she said. 

Catholic College Bendigo agricultural teacher Gay Whitehead said her students had been learning how to train alpacas throughout the term, and had enjoyed attending the show.

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