Goats (England): Code of Recommendations for the Welfare of Livestock (PB9733 & PB0081)


6. The stockman should know the normal behaviour of goats and recognise the signs which indicate good health. These include good appetite, alertness, good coat condition, absence of lameness, firm round droppings (similar to those of a sheep or rabbit) and no visible wounds, abscesses or injuries. Purchased stock should be healthy and free from infectious disease.

7. Goats should be inspected regularly, particularly for foot condition (see paragraph 50) and parasitic infections of the skin (e.g. lice and mange), to which they are susceptible.

8. The health of the goat should be safeguarded by the appropriate use of preventive measures such as parasitic control and vaccination programmes based on veterinary advice (see paragraph 14).

9. When goats are ill they soon lose the will to live. The stockman should identify the cause of the goat's deterioration, should separate injured or ailing goats and take immediate remedial action. Prompt veterinary advice should be obtained if the goat appears to be seriously ill or in pain, the cause of the deterioration is not clear or if the stockman's action is not effective.

10. If a goat has to be destroyed on the farm, this must be done humanely, and, where possible, by a person who is experienced in both the technique and the equipment used for slaughtering goats.

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