FAST FACT: The goat meat industry is growing in Australia. There are currently over 1000 goat farms around the country. Around 2 million goats are slaughtered in Australia every year. The majority as part of the meat industry and a smaller percentage coming from the dairy and goat wool industries.
Goats are inquisitive and intelligent animals who form strong bonds with their babies. The babies and mothers instantly recognise each other by their bleats and smell, they love to explore and have almost unbelievable balance and co-ordination. Often called the “clowns” of the farmyard, goats love to play.
- The natural lifespan of a goat is around 12 to 14 years however they are slaughtered at anywhere between 3 to 18 months of age. The larger percentage of the Australian market demands milk fed kids between the age of 3 to 6 months. They are just babies when they are sent to slaughter.
- While demand for goat meat is only a small percentage compared to the beef, chicken and pork industries the pain they endure is the same. They are taken from farms and tightly packed onto trucks, often denied food and water during their journey to the abattoir.
- As with the slaughter of all animals, workers are under increasing pressure to process as many animals as possible in the shortest amount of time. In these conditions it is impossible to ensure that each and every animal is rendered unconscious before being strung up and having their throats sliced open to bleed out. Some goats will remain fully conscious during this process.
- Like cows in the dairy industry, goats are forcibly impregnated and have their young taken from them so their milk can be used for human consumption.
- The products made from goat’s milk include milk drinks, cheeses and also beauty items such as soap.
- Approximately 65,00 goats are exported from Australia to countries like Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore every year. These countries do not have adequate welfare laws to protect them. Investigations in Malaysia by Animals Australia have shown goats being roughly handled, stuffed into car boots or bags and having their throats cut while fully conscious.
- Cashmere and Angora are the most common wools taken from goats. Just as in the sheep wool industry, goats are subjected to cruelty during the shearing process and when they no longer produce high quantities of wool they are sent to slaughter.
- They often have their horns removed and chunks of flesh cut out of their ears for identification purposes, all without pain relief. As with most large scale animal industries, the males are castrated by either cutting with a knife, or a tight rubber ring that will cut the circulation until the appendages fall off, both are extremely painful for the animal.
WHAT CAN I DO?
The quickest way to stop the exploitation and abuse of goats is to stop supporting these industries. Share your concerns with friends, family and others about what the issues are. In addition you can also let the operators of these industries know how you feel. If these activities take place in your local area then contact your council and let them know. You can also contact your local MP’s to voice your concern.
HOW CAN I HELP?
Many people don’t realise that you can source all your nutrients from non-animal sources. Going vegan is the easiest and most powerful way to help stop the abuse and exploitation of animals for food or their products. As a consumer, the power is in your hands to choose not to support the industries that inflict cruelty on animals.
The most powerful tool we have to help animals is our voice. Once we learn about the cruel ways humans use animals for greed, profit or pleasure we need to help educate and inform others. To learn more about how to go vegan, go to veganeasy.org.
If you want to do more to help, you can support us by becoming a member of Animal Liberation WA, and signing up to volunteer!