Three rare goats die after being ‘overfed’ by visitors at conservation farm

Three goats died after being “overfed inappropriate food” by visitors at an award-winning conservation farm in Craigavon, the local council has said.

Friday, 4th September 2020, 9:20 pm
Updated Friday, 4th September 2020, 9:27 pm
New signs at Tannaghmore Farm

Armagh, Craigavon and Banbridge council has issued a plea to visitors to stop feeding the animals at Tannaghmore Rare Breeds Animal Farm.

With Irish Moiled, Dexter and Shetland cattle; Galway and Jacob sheep; Bagot goats; Oxford Sandy and Black pigs; a Connemara Pony and a large number of poultry and waterfowl, the Farm is home to a wide range of rare and in some cases vulnerable native farm breeds.

A council spokesperson said: “Sadly the farm recently lost three of its cherished Bagot goats due to them being overfed inappropriate food, representing a significant loss to the numbers of this vulnerable breed and not least a huge blow to the devoted and dedicated farm hands who tend to and care for the animals.

“As the special livestock have their own unique and tailored dietary plan, visitors are asked to not overfeed the animals as they could get sick or die by eating too much or eating food that isn’t suitable for them.”

Lord Mayor Kevin Savage said: “We all want to ensure the health and safety of animals, which is why we are asking visitors to Tannaghmore Rare Breeds Animal Farm to adhere to the new feeding guidance. By not overfeeding the animals, the rare livestock at the Farm will remain healthy and you will play your part in ensuring the continuation of these endangered and vulnerable breeds.”

He added: “ While feeding the animals is now temporarily prohibited, visitors can be assured the animals will be fed the appropriate food daily by the Farm staff and they are still welcome to engage and interact with these wonderfully unique and award-winning animals.”

The council say signs will be placed at key locations throughout the farm with staff on site to offer advice on what it called a “temporary” ban on feeding the animals.