Statistics from Altmetric.com
THERE are around 98,000 goats in the UK. They are kept for many varied reasons, including, at one end of the scale, a pet/hobby keeping sector in herds of under 10 to, at the other end, commercial dairy herds of over 4000 goats. There is a small meat sector based around either the pure Boer breed or from dairy culls or surplus male rearing units, and also an angora/cashmere fibre sector. Making up the remainder of the population are goats kept at public attractions, such as zoos, open farms and theme parks, on which their docile, inquisitive nature makes them popular attractions.
Despite the escalation in the number of TB cases identified in the cattle sector, this has not been mirrored in goats. Although two sporadic isolates were confirmed in individual goats in 1981 and 1996, the first documented incident in which bovine TB was confirmed involved two goats on a smallholding in Wiltshire in 2007. …