Roadside Goats Need Care Too

19 May 1999

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is issuing a reminder that road-side goats that need as much care as other animals.

MAF said road-side goats are a common site throughout rural New Zealand. Landowners use the goats as foragers to keep frontages clear of rank herbage and weeds.

The Senior Adviser (Animal Welfare) with MAF's Enforcement Unit said MAF receives a number of complaints each year relating to the neglect of these animals. Ross Burnell said owners have a legal responsibility under the Animals Protection Act to ensure their goats are adequately cared for. "If everyone cared for their animals properly we wouldn't get complaints".

Like any other animal goats need adequate, food, water and shelter. Water, in suitable water containers which do not tip over, should be provided at all times, he said.

"Goats also need shade and protection from inclement weather. A suitable hutch should be provided to give adequate warmth and freedom from draughts in winter and coolness and shade in summer.

"Access to an ample supply of grass can be provided by attaching the goat's chain to a running wire. During winter months or during drought periods the goat may require some supplementary feeding such as good quality hay, meal or sheep nuts," Mr Burnell said.

Like any other farm animal, goats should be checked regularly. Care should be taken to ensure goats cannot reach the road and it is important to ensure the chain does not become entangled or snagged in scrub.

Periodically goats should be given a general health check, which should include an inspection of teeth and hooves. Treatment should also be given if any internal or external parasite infestation is present. "Ownership of a road-side goat brings with it a duty of care in relation to the goat's well-being," Mr Burnell said. "In this, the owner is obligated by law."

Media inquiries to:
Ross Burnell, Senior Adviser (Animal Welfare), MAF Enforcement Unit, Ph. 09 256 6423.



Last Updated: 10 September 2010

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