Articles about Goat Farming
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Copyright 2016
Koonac Enterprises
Horns or No horns?
According to the Breed Standard of the Dairy Goat Society of Australia (DGSA; klick here for an example), "neatly disbudded or polled" goats are the ideal, whereas goats with horns are "differing from the ideal" . These Regulations reflect an outdated social mentality, which is based on the intention to "streamline" all livestock animals to make them as convenient as possible for humans.
 
As a result, almost all dairy goats in Australia are de-horned, often unnecessarily (see picture). This is in contrast to modern society's understanding of animal welfare and humane animal treatment, and represents a violation of the  Industry Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Goats (2016), which requires that "Disbudding and Dehorning is only done when necessary". It ignores the numerous important functions horns have for goats:
The most frequently used argument against horns is safety. However, our experience with over 1200 goats raised on our farm is that the risk related to horns can be minimised to a very low and acceptable level by appropriate management and equipment, and normally does not justify dehorning (full article).  
Happy kid with a not so happy kid (picture from the webpage of the Victorian Branch of the DGSA (https://dgsavic.weebly.com/photos.html)
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