Thursday, 13 October 2016

Fears Robert the Bruce goat herd could be driven to extinction

Concerns raised over the goat herd known as defenders of Robert the Bruce. Picture by Lighthouse Images
Picture by Lighthouse Images

4 days ago / Brian Donnelly, Senior News Reporter

CAMPAIGNERS have raised concerns an historic goat herd that has laid siege to “Scotland’s rainforest” could be driven to extinction under a new population control programme.

The Inversnaid goats, whose ancestors are said to have helped shelter Robert the Bruce as he fled his enemies, face a programme of contraceptive darting after damaging their protected habitat to such an extent that conservation and forestry bodies have moved to control the feral population.

Campaigners including the Strathard Community Council are calling for more information about the contraceptive programme and especially the long term effects of the process.

They will meet with RSPB Scotland in November to seek reassurances over the herd's future.

A spokesman for RSPB Scotland said the contraceptive programme was a more humane way to control numbers, and the charity will dart a limited amount.

The effect of contraceptive is expected to last about three years.

While it is said the Bruce declared the goats protected, the ancient herd has no such official protection.

The reserve contains Bruce's Cave, in front of which the goats are said to have lain down to deter English troops from entering and finding the Bruce after his defeat at the battle of Dail Righ against the English allies, Clan MacDougall of Argyll, in 1306.


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