On Recent Reports

Joyce Salter

… regarding the number of goats in the valley, the 1999? roundup reduced the overall number of goats to 21 nannies and 7 billies and we were given permission by the Town Council to bring in 3 goats from the Cheviot cull to improve bloodlines. The goats which were retained in the valley were carefully selected with the expertise of Ray Werner as those which displayed the characteristics which were closest to the primitive goat. The policy was that there would be a roundup every two years which would require removal/relocation of about 30 goats so that the numbers would never go above about 60. Bearing in mind that in those days the fencing had not been erected and the goats had free access to Hollerday Hill I think the present number of goats which you report as being in the valley is not unreasonable. It has always been evident that conservation grazing will support more goats but it is equally evident that the human population and the tourist needs of lynton will not and an acceptable compromise has to be reached. If the arguments just keep going on it will be the goats which suffer in the long run. The parasitic disease which has infected the flock is the result of pressure from extremists within the Society and animal rights organisations with no practical knowledge of goat husbandry to increase the herd size until it stabilises by natural means i.e. disease, starvation. Please don't let it happen again.