Tuesday 24th August 2010

Rupert Kirby

About 75 goats were rounded up this morning. Julian and his national trust people were joined by representatives from the RSPCA, council staff and others who shepherded them into the pen. Fences were used to help direct them, blocking the road and channeling them in the right direction.

A fair proportion of the goats were already tagged, after they had been given their treatment during the June roundup, but those who had been missed at that time were then examined, treated and tagged. Looking at the proportion of tagged goats an estimate was made of the size of the herd. We were aware that about 25-30 or so had not been rounded up as they had moved to places it was not safe to do so, like the area around Castle Rock, but it was assumed that the proportion of goats tagged and untagged was about the same as in the penned part of the herd.

The decision was made to keep 30 nannies, 20 billies and followers (kids who were still attached to their mothers), with the rest to be sent to Surrey to the Pirbright Ranges where they are to be used for grazing projects by the Surrey Wildlife Trust. This turned out to be nineteen animals.

Eleven animals were humanely destroyed after examination showed they were poorly and unlikely to survive the winter. One of the consequences of being let loose in June was that more than half of these had been identified at that time, and so had been suffering for almost two months longer than they might otherwise have done. There are still a small number who were not rounded up this time who will need to be found before the Winter.

Subject to agreement by the council it is planned that there should now be an annual round up through which this welfare management can be maintained. The RSPCA man on the scene said they would be happy to be involved in this plan.

Wednesday 25th August

The rain held off during the night thankfully and the wind dropped. However in the early hours of the morning it became apparent that some goats had slipped out under the fencing, and so the nineteen were now reduced to 14 in number! It was thought that they had been encouraged by some Billies who had come down into the Valley bottom to check out the captive Nannies!  The ear tags of the remaining animals were checked so there is an accurate record of which Goats were to be travelling, and which were back in the main herd in the Valley.

Surrey Wildlife Trust arrived just after midday and once the neccesary paperwork was done the goats started their journey over to Surrey.

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