HERDS of alpaca enthusiasts packed into an Oxford college to graze on every cough and spit of alpaca life.

The World Alpaca Conference is taking place at Keble College, the first time it has been held in the UK.

Experts from 18 countries and 180 delegates are discussing everything from alpaca disease and behaviour to redesigning their genetics.

Alpacas are bred for their fleece, which is finer than human hair and makes very soft but hard wearing garments and stuffing.

The animals were first brought to this country 15 years ago in zoos and there are now 20,000 in the UK.

Chris Goffey breeds the animals at Forest Hill, near Wheatley.

He said: “The conference is a really big deal. It is putting the UK alpaca community on the map.”