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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 February 2006, 06:49 GMT
Goats: four legs good?
mountain goat
Did you give a goat?
They were the surprise hit of the Christmas shopping season - but now it turns out that giving a goat may not be such a great idea after all.

Sick of trawling round the High Street for presents which end up in the charity shop, thousands of people decided to buy a goat instead, for a family in the developing world.

"No ifs or butts, " said Oxfam " A goat is a great gift."

What you told Breakfast
It smells of hypocrisy when World Land Trust criticises another organisation about ethical gifts. The organisation offers consumers the opportunity to buy rainforest
Rob Daly, London
The problem is the human management of the situation. As usual, goats are blamed as they are usually the last animals able to graze land which has been degraded by other animals such as cattle and sheep.
Amanda Benson

But now it turns out that the animals may not be so good after all.

Renowned for their ability to eat almost anything, goats can have a devastating effect on the environment, according to another charity, The World Land Trust.

It's saying that the animals may well be a short term fixed for hard-pressed villages - but in the long run, they'll make matters even worse.

This morning on Breakfast

  • We debated the rights and wrongs of giving a goat. We talked to John Burton, Chief Executive of the World Land Trust - and Oxfam's International Director, Caroline Nursey.

    Each works closely with environmental projects in the developing world - but they have very different views on how to help.



  • BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
    Are goats a good thing?
    Watch our debate, with the WLT's John Burton and Oxfam's Caroline Nursey



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