Imagine a world without slaughter houses ...




Choose Vegan

Hull, UK

CHOOSE VEGAN is funded entirely by public donations. Animals depend on your generosity to continue vital work to expose and end animal abuse. Thank you for helping to free animals from cruelty.


All about goats

Goats were one of the very first animals to be domesticated by humans, some 10,000 years ago. The total world population of goats is now estimated to be around 765 million, although it is impossible to obtain a truly accurate figure for this as many are farmed in developing countries where records are scarce.


50% of kids born are male. If they cannot be sold for meat then they are killed at birth using a humane killer, carbon dioxide, chloroform or an overdose of barbiturates. In the UK, goat meat is derived mainly from the male offspring of dairy goats as they are useless for milk production. In a typical week, 62 goats are killed though ritual slaughter (without pre-stunning) and are fully conscious when their throats are cut. Female dairy goats are usually slaughtered at 6-8 years (natural life expectancy is over 15 years).

Artificial insemination (AI)

Artificial insemination is in use for goat production, often involving the technique of freezing semen. To artificially inseminate a goat, the female is held upside down, and the AI gun is inserted into the neck of the cervix. Alternatively an instrument called a laparoscope may be use to deposit semen directly into the uterus, through the body wall of the animal.

Their milk

Goats are seasonal breeders. This results in seasonal milk production (resulting in less milk and less profit) so commercial farmers stimulate goats to breed out of season by the administration of hormones or the change of light to induce ovulation. The most common method of inducement involves the use of sponges impregnated with progesterone or a synthetic version. Goats are usually mated by letting males run with females. For pedigree mating, a single female is brought to a male.

Between 0.68-1.8kg per 305 day lactation is the usual target for milk yield set by commercial farmers. Until fairly recently most goats were dairy breeds. However, there is now an interest in farming specialist breeds for mohair, cashmere and angora.

Dairy goats are usually penned indoors on a dry lot whereas goats used for fibre are usually farmed outdoors (allowed to browse pasture), at least for the summer months. Generally speaking the improved breeds of dairy goats are not very resilient, as they do not have the same insulating fat layer as sheep or the thick hide of a cow.

Goats usually produce 2 kids and once these babies have had 24 hours feeding from their mothers they are removed and reared using artificial teats so that the milk can be sold for human consumption (fibre producing breeds are usually reared by their mothers until 12-14 weeks of age).

The total world population of goats is now estimated to be around 765 MILLION

Same for goats too

Artificial insemination is in use for goat production, she is held upside down and the AI gun in inserted into her cervix






Choose Vegan

the voice for animals


Embryo transfer (ET)

This is becoming increasingly developed and is more often used for valuable breeds. It involves giving a female goat a series of hormone injections, and at the same time treating a number of other goats with hormones to bring their oestrous cycles into line. Three to five days after the donor is mated she undergoes an operation to flush out the uterus to obtain the fertile embryos. These are examined under a microscope and the suitable ones are surgically implanted in the recipient. In cattle this is now done by a non-surgical technique, but in the vast majority of cases goats still require an operation for ET to take place.

Both AI and ET pose significant risks to goats. Both removal and implantation of embryos are surgical procedures, and as such are potentially both harmful and painful, subjecting goats to a high level of stress. This has provoked concern even within the veterinary profession, former BVA President Francis Anthony describing some operations as being done by "cowboys (who are) giving the whole thing a bad name".

Don’t forget to Like Choose Vegan on Facebook:


If males are not to be used for breeding they are usually castrated to reduce or remove their sex drive. This most commonly takes place using the rubber ring (elastrator) method, which involves placing a thick rubber ring over the scrotum usually within a week of birth (never legally after more than three weeks) and leaving it in place at the base. The scrotum and testes will shrink, wither and drop off after about two weeks. This method is cheap and bloodless, but causes a great deal of pain to the animal.

The oldest and most costly method of castration is the surgical method, which involves slitting open the scrotum and removing the testes (usually under a local anaesthetic). This usually takes place between the age of 1 and 3 months, and can cause complications if not carried out correctly, swabbing the wound with iodine and giving the animal a suitable dose of tetanus antitoxin.

If the kids are between the ages of four weeks and four months, the method most commonly used involves the use of a Burdizzo or bloodless castrator, which is like a large pair of pincers with blunt ends. This is clamped around the spermatic cord of each testicle in turn, crushing it and the blood vessels at the base of the scrotum.


The horns of adult goats, particularly males, can cause injury to other goats and to humans. For this reason, adult goats are very occasionally dehorned. This is a major operation in which the skin is incised 1cm from the base of the horn and a Gigli wire saw is employed in a craniomedial direction, while an assistant supports the head of the goat. It takes the goat 2 weeks to recover from this. However, this is rare on most farms, where horns are often used for the purposes of identification and restraining. Where horned herds are not required (such as in dairy herds) the horns are usually removed much earlier through disbudding, as dehorning adult goats is traumatic and carries a risk of infection.


Disbudding is a difficult procedure, usually carried out when the kid is about a week old, in which an anaesthetic is injected in two places and then a red hot iron placed at the bud of the horn, in order to destroy all of the nerves to it.[18]

“I made the choice to be vegan because I will not eat (or wear, or use) anything that could have an emotional response to its death or captivity. I can well imagine what that must feel like for our non-human friends - the fear, the terror, the pain - and I will not cause such suffering to a fellow living being.”

Rai Aren

Media enquirescontact.htmlshapeimage_22_link_0