This is from an email I received from Commercial Goats UK list.
Subject: On warmwell today
December 26 2007 ~ "There are feral strains that are of historical and scientific interest, such as the Arapawa goats..." Conservation Society of New Zealand
Arapawa Island goats - doomed to be culled in January - are believed to be descendants of the Old English goats that died out in the UK during the severe winter of 1954. There are, worldwide, no more than 360.
Recognising that the Arapawa goat is a separate breed of goat and not a crossbred feral, the Committee of the Rare Breeds Conservation Society of New Zealand gave and approved the goats "rare breed priority" listing at its meeting of 27 May 2004. However, the new Minister for Conservation, Stephanie Chadwick, sees them - not as a unique genetic resource - but as vermin. In connection with her scheme for removing all "pests" from other islands she recently spoke of "restoring the islands and repopulating them with rare native species..." - a sort of ethnic cleansing of fauna to preserve the flora. (The goats nibble the trees and bushes but do not destroy them. See http://www.jennessfarm. com/ArapawaGoats )
We are told that between January 7th and 25th January the Arapawa Island goats are to be shot. If you share our dismay, please read more.
I'm all for preserving native species and preventing invasive species from taking over, but it doesn't sound like the goats are doing that... and to shoot them That's sad. I hope something gets figured out and they can be saved!
Everyone please sign the petition. It's quick and easy and you can make comments. I find it ironic that the minister for "conservation" is promoting the let's gun them down solution. I'm wondering if there isn't something going on behind the scenes, like deal cutting. She should be ashamed of herself and booted out of her job.
The plan appears unecessary from my reading and there are plenty of groups out there who could relocate these goats. The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy lists them as endangered. Shouldn't this breed be protected instead of wiped out?
Please get as many people to sign the petition as possible. Right now there is a temporary reprieve till March on the cull. It is important that you post the link to as many groups as possible and get as many as you can to sign it. Pass the word, save these goats! B