Page last updated at 06:15 GMT, Monday, 12 April 2010 07:15 UK

Contraceptive jabs cut goat herd on the Great Orme

One of the Great Orme goats
The goats are characterised by their long coats and impressive horns

The number of kids born to a herd of wild goats has been reduced by nearly two thirds after they were injected with contraceptives.

In the past, about 60 kids were born each year to the Kashmir goats on Llandudno's Great Orme, which led to fears they were over-breeding.

But a year after 65 nanny goats were vaccinated, 23 kids have been born.

Previously, some goats were relocated to reduce the population from 220 a few years ago.

Since being introduced more than 100 years ago, numbers of Kashmir goats on Llandudno's Great Orme have risen dramatically.

The goats have broken into gardens looking for food and Conwy council had been using implants to reduce fertility in the 180-strong herd.

It seems that less than 10% of the goats which were treated have had kids
Sally Pidcock, Great Orme warden

These are no longer available so the vaccine to reduce the nanny goats' fertility was used as an alternative.

Great Orme Country Park warden Sally Pidcock, 39, said the contraceptive "seems to have worked".

"Normally we would expect far more kids - usually 50 or 60," she said.

"The vaccines do not seem 100% effective but it seems that less than 10% of the goats which were treated have had kids."

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion the Royal Welch Fusiliers were drafted in to help round up the goats last year to vaccinate them.

At the same time they chose a goat to be the regimental mascot William 'Billy' Windsor.

The often elusive white Kashmirs are descendants of a pair the Shah of Persia presented to Queen Victoria soon after she was crowned.

They were introduced on the Great Orme over a century ago.

Numbers for the goats peaked in the 1990s when around 200 goats were grazing the slopes of the headland.

Such large numbers of goats were however looking for alternative sources of food and gardens were being damaged.

Previously, some of the goats have been moved to other parts of the UK, including Somerset, to ensure a stable number is maintained.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Contraceptives to curb goat herd
12 May 09 |  North West Wales
Goat's long wait for cliff rescue
19 Oct 08 |  Animals
Outbreak prevents Orme goat move
17 Sep 07 |  North West Wales
Migration to control goat numbers
05 Oct 05 |  North West Wales

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
Wales Online Billy idle no more in his army role - 49 hrs ago
Denbighshire Free Press Billy goat joins the Royal Welsh soldiers - 09 Apr 2010


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2018 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific