PRO and vice-chair of the Alpaca Association of Ireland Joe Phelan said: “Alpacas have been likened to long-legged, long-necked sheep. However, any likeness stops there, as alpacas are a very different animal to sheep.

“They are of the camelid family and have been domesticated for over 6,000 years. The Spanish did not recognise the value of these animals and wiped out almost 90% of the population.”