A PETITION was launched to ban the hunting of critically endangered old Irish goats and give them rare breed status.
The Mulranny-based Old Irish Goat Society has done a tremendous job identifying distinct wild populations, producing information brochures and presentations, and setting up breeding programs.
The Mayo herd made headlines last summer when a number of goats made their home in Howth Head as part of a unique conservation project.
Goats play an important role in growth management to reduce the risk of house fires, while improving the biodiversity of priority heathland habitats.
Now an online petition has been launched on change.org calling on the Minister of Agriculture to grant Irish rare breed status to the Old Irish Goat, ban hunting of the wild population and protect its future from any harm. emergency.
The petition cites goats in areas outside Mayo as being at high risk of being slaughtered.
Yasmin Fortune, who set up the petition, which so far has more than 5,000 signatories, explained on the page: “The only way to survive for this ancient, endangered native breed is if it is illegal to hunt the wild population and enjoy the protection of rare breed status – such as the Galway sheep, the Droimeann, Dexter and Kerry cattle and the Connemara pony, the Kerry Bog pony and the Irish draft horse.
“This will qualify the Old Irish Goat for protection from hunting, for inclusion in GLAS and other programs to encourage its survival, and raise awareness among the general public of its importance in securing its future for generations to come.
“As a feral rather than feral or domesticated population, the breed fell between the remit of the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Department of Agriculture.
“This is unacceptable and arrangements for the NPWS to protect former wild herds must be made alongside those for the captive-bred domestic population.
“If this problem is not resolved, we will lose an extremely important and irreplaceable part of our oldest heritage.
“The wild herds that have existed in the wilderness of our valleys and our most remote valleys for 5,000 years must be protected from extinction under the watchful eye of this generation.”
She added: “The old Irish goat is the quintessential symbol of Ireland’s heritage.
“This is our living connection to our Bronze Age ancestors – he inhabits the hills and valleys they inhabited, he figures in ancient stories, he provided food security from ancient times until saving many lifetimes during famine, its milk has been heavily used in traditional medicine to keep us healthy for thousands of years.
“It is a symbol of harmony in biodiversity and a connection to the most remote places of our beautiful landscape which were held sacred by our ancestors – we owe a lot to this majestic race and the least we can do is to ‘ensure its survival. “
More information and sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/department-of-agriculture-food-and-the-marine-ban-the-hunting-of-critically-endangered-old-irish-goats-and-award-them- rare-breed-status? redirect = false & fbclid = IwAR0t6vf3k-d57smz8tM1ijTp_wHfXaqbIy6o6n6XbOy2sb5IjzWzUcoiyUM