Royal goats face population cut

Objections to country park's vasectomy plan

Male Kashmir goats which roam wild on a scenic headland in North Wales could be facing a painful cut in their population.

Mass vasectomy is one option being discussed by local councillors seeking humane ways to reduce the size of the herd, which boasts around 60 goats.

The animals are all descendants of a pair of Kashmir goats the Shah of Persia gave Queen Victoria shortly after her Coronation.

They have been grazing the limestone grassland on the 719-acre Great Orme Country Park near Llandudno for more than a century.

It was the local landowner, Major-General Sir Savage Mostyn, who turned two of the white goats loose on the Orme after being given a pair from the Windsor Royal Herd which has supplied the regiment with its mascot since 1844.

Last year, the Country Park working party called for a humane cull of old and sick goats because of a shortage of grazing to sustain a healthy herd that size. But the scheme was scrapped after 5,000 people signed a petition demanding preservation of the entire herd. Now a similar battle looms as Conwy Council seeks a solution to the problem in talks with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Countryside Council for Wales.

"Technology is as yet not well enough developed to implement birth control methods through treating female goats, therefore other options are to be considered including vasectomy of males and relocation of animals," said a council spokeswoman. "No decision has been reached as yet."

Christine Jones, the organiser of last year's petition against the cull, who lives in a two-bedroom cottage on the headland, said: "The idea of giving these goats the snip disgusts me because there is no need. I think nature takes care of nature and to talk of a population explosion is ridiculous.

"Ten years ago there were 100 goats on the Orme and there is plenty of gorse and scrub for them to eat. They might go into the odd garden for a change of diet but the goats do nobody any harm. They are beautiful animals - the tourists think they are gorgeous and so do the majority of locals.

"On a moonlit night you can only see their horns when they sit up on the cliff - its just fantastic. We fought so long and hard we thought the battle was over but if they touch the goats without our approval we will take out an injunction against the council."

Complaints have been made by some locals who say the wild goats stray into gardens and cause havoc when grazing is in short supply.

But supporters of the herd point out that the town's Rectory Tea Gardens still manage to win the Llandudno in Bloom contest even though the goats are often seen wandering there.

Sally Pidcock, assistant warden of the Great Orme country park said "Obviously people are sensitive about culling the goats but if you leave them as they are maybe they will suffer in the long run.

"We don't want to get rid of the herd entirely and giving a vasectomy to all the goats would effectively wipe out the herd," she said. "The goats are part of the Great Orme and we don't want to lose them but for the sake of the Great Orme and the goats their numbers should be reduced."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Primary teaching roles in Ipswich

£21552 - £31588 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education re...

Science teachers needed in Norwich

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Science teachers requ...

Semi Senior Accountant - Music

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A successful, Central London bas...

English teachers required in Lowestoft

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Qualified English tea...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits