About the British Llama Society
Llamas in the UK
Llamas were brought to the UK in Victorian days and were a major attraction in zoos, with their long necks, banana ears, eyelashes to kill for and beautiful fibre. Interest in private ownership grew in the 1970's and a number of people built up significant breeding herds to satisfy a growing demand for these graceful animals. Today there are between 2,000 and 4,000 llamas in the UK, mostly owned by private individuals and families. Llamas are predominantly kept as pets rather than for business, the exceptions being those owners who breed llamas for sale and a thriving community of trekkers that offers members of the public the opportunity to spend time trekking with a llama, which often carries a picnic or camping gear.
Llamas also make excellent companion animals for a lonely horse or donkey and can be used as livestock guardians, offering protection to flocks of sheep or even ducks and hens! Llamas are exhibited at some of the country’s agricultural shows, sometimes with official show classes and sometimes just as fascinating animals in their own right. While some owners are content for their llamas to grace and graze their fields, others take them for walks or train them to pull carts or to perform all manner of different tasks, mainly for fun.
British Camelids was formed in 1987 to represent everyone interested in llamas, alpacas, guanacos, vicunas and camels, whether owners, breeders or just enthusiasts. Such has been the growth of the camelid community in recent years, alpacas and llamas in particular, that in 2006 it was decided to restructure the British Camelids Association
The British Llama Society was set up to promote all aspects of llama and guanaco ownership: good husbandry, breeding, trekking, driving, showing and much more. It publishes a glossy quarterly magazine and operates a registration system for llamas, guanacos, vicunas and camels. The BLS is affiliated to British Camelids Ltd., a charity that promotes the responsible ownership of camelids in the UK.
The society brings together a lively community of people who have been captivated by these fascinating animals.
If you are interested in llamas please explore this website. You can join the society by completing and sending in a simple application form to be found on the JOIN BLS page of the site or you can contact the Membership Secretary.
You don't have to be a llama owner to join the BLS!
British Camelids Ltd
British Camelids is a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity. Since 2006, BCL has concentrated solely on its welfare, educational and charitable objectives. 10% of the BLS’s membership and registration fees, goes towards helping to fund BCL’s valuable work. www.alpaca.co.uk
British Alpaca Society
Established in 2006, The British Alpaca Society (BAS) is dedicated to the welfare of alpacas and the education of their owners in the UK. It provides information, support and events for alpaca owners, breeders and those interested in alpacas, as well as maintaining the pedigree register for the national herd.
British Llama Society
Established in June 2006, the BLS was set up to promote all aspects of llama and guanaco ownership and setting standards for good husbandry, breeding, trekking, driving, showing and much more. It publishes a glossy quarterly magazine and operates a registration system for llamas, guanacos, vicunas and camels.
The British Veterinary Camelid Society
The British Veterinary Camelid Society (est. 1994), is an informal group of vets and researchers with a particular interest in camelids - primarily alpacas and llamas, but also guanacos and vicunas.