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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 January 2008, 10:03 GMT
New group to monitor wild goats
Wild goat in the Valley of Rocks
A 40,000 cattle grid failed to keep some adventurous goats out
A new group has been set up in north Devon to help manage and monitor the goats roaming in the Valley of Rocks.

Last year a number of the larger billy goats were culled after some of the herd kept roaming into nearby Lynton and damaged gardens.

It is hoped that by working with other local agencies, The Valley of Rocks Goat Environmental Group can avoid another mass cull.

The valley's wild goats are mentioned in the Domesday Book.

'Contraceptive drugs'

The animals have divided public opinion for many years but fences and cattle grids have failed to stop the herd wandering into nearby Lynton, and complaints from locals led to a controversial cull last year.

Some locals describe them as "destructive and dangerous pests", while others say they are a major attraction for the many tourists who visit the area.

One option the new group is considering is the use of contraceptive drugs to keep numbers down, as well as building shelters in the valley to encourage the goats to stay put.

It is hoped that by working with local authorities and the Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Valley of Rocks Goat Environmental Group can avoid the need for another mass cull.

Wild goats facing a gruff future
08 Apr 05 |  Cornwall

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