01 Feb Goats Used For Their Flesh
According to the Goat Industry Council of Australia:
- Goat flesh is the most widely consumed meat in the world, mainly due to the few, if any, religious taboos limiting goatmeat consumption.
- Australia is a relatively small “producer of goat flesh, but it is the world’s largest exporter of goat flesh.
- Australian Goat slaughter in 2017 was 2.07 million (MLA)
- Traditionally, Australian bush goats (Rangeland goats) and Boer goats are used for meat production.
- In 2011 – 2012 Australia exported 71,895 live goats
Goats reach the meat industry
Boer Goats and Rangeland Goats (existing specifically for the meat industry) were previously identified as ‘feral’ and the Kalahari Red.
Goats used for their flesh are sent to slaughter anywhere from 3 months to 3 years when their natural lifespan can be anywhere from 8 to 12 years and in some cases up to 15 years of age.
WHO ARE RANGELAND GOATS?
Australia has established populations of wild goats. These goats were goats who escaped, were abandoned or were deliberately released. The Agriculture industry is now calling these wild goats, “rangeland” goats. Rangeland introduced as a marketing term to avoid the use of the word “feral” and the negative connotations which come with this word. This is a poignant demonstration of how labels, when applied to how we view animals, can change and either be detrimental to an industry or not. If goats are classed as “feral”, which they were for many years, they are bad, but by calling them Rangeland goats, their ongoing existence can be supported and a profit made from exploiting them.
The Rangeland goats are managed by the releasing of “quality” bucks to the wild. This is known as “infusing” the wild population with certain genes which produce “bigger and more consistent” quality goats for slaughter.
Approximately 90% of goat flesh produced in Australia comes from Rangeland goats.
Rangeland goats are rounded up in rural Australia and are then packed into crates to be shipped overseas for slaughter. Then forced on board a ship they spend 35 days at sea, thousands dying en route due to the dirty, cramped and hot conditions. Finally, when the goats reach their destination, there is absolutely no protection for them. They are exposed to shockingly cruel treatment from the moment they are rounded up to the moment they are killed, which is weeks sometimes extending into months.
At slaughterhouses, many goats are not properly stunned. In some slaughterhouses, they are not stunned at all whilst having their throats slit and are still conscious while workers skin them.
CONFESSIONS OF AN AUSTRALIAN SLAUGHTERHOUSE WORKER
“Are there any memories of the slaughterhouse that have particularly stuck with you?”
‘The scream of the goats. It would sound like a child being tortured.
And they would scream a lot of times when you didn’t electro-stun them properly – they’d scream, and they’d jump, and they’d bark.
They’d bash their heads on the side of the race and open up wounds.
And seeing other people, as I say, take crowbars and chains to animals.
Its going to stick with me for the rest of my life.
But particularly the screams of the animals – it sounds too human.
You know they know it’s not right and you know within yourself it’s not right.
But in pursuit of the almighty dollar many people will do many things.
Author: Jaysherrie Terraqueos
Founder of Melbourne Goat Save