Volunteer Health & Safety

Please read all Health & Safety information carefully, and complete the Volunteer Contact information at the end of the form and click accept to confirm you have read and understood the information provided.  Any children under 18 and their understanding and compliance with the safety measures outlined, are the responsibility of their supervising adult.


Always wear suitable clothing: • Wear walking boots or walking shoes with good grip • Gloves, warm/rainproof clothing. • Please ensure cords and pull strings are secured and contained to avoid snagging/catching.

 Avoid Slips, Trips and Falls 

1) Assess surroundings and remain aware of the terrain, and changing weather and lighting conditions.

2) Take extra caution if conditions become wet/icy especially on uneven terrain

3) Avoid hazardous conditions and ensure visibility, bring a torch if lighting is low

4) Electric fencing: Always assume fences are electrified and avoid making any physical contact

Take Care Around Livestock

   1) Take Necessary Precautions when handling and herding livestock

2) Approach livestock slowly and avoid sudden movements or sounds that could startle the animals.

3) Always remain spatially aware of your surroundings and your proximity to the animals and increased risks at all times.

i) Take extra care not to trip over goats either unseen behind you, or under foot especially when they are running for feed or running away from a threat (eg Dog off-leash).  Take action to give the herd space in such circumstances. 

ii) Take additional precautions to avoid contact with horns when in enclosed spaces like sheds, or when feeding by hand. Stay in a standing/upright position in such circumstances to reduce risk of head injury.

iii) Continuous awareness of the location of the entire herd, is particularly important, in enclosed spaces, during stock counts, when moving animals between locations, and when locking herd in for the night. 

Feeding Animals

1) Before approaching trough with feed bucket – Ensure feeding troughs are upright, clean and on stable ground in order to reduce possible physical contact with excited animals.

2) Evenly districute feed along the length of the trough in one swift pouring movement and immediately withdraw to avoid being stood on, bumped or coming into contact with horns.  

NEVER lean over feeding animals at the trough to finish pouring feed.  

Hygiene – Always Clean your hands after handling the troughs or touching or feeding the goats.

Goat Behaviour & Your Behaviour

1) Be aware that the goats may challenge each other (pushing, butting, rearing) – if this behaviour occurs in your vicinity. Keep calm and step away and keep clear of that interaction.

2) These animals are very intelligent and inquisitive so please be aware they may approach

3) If a goat is challenging you or putting their hooves up on you – you can pinch their ear to deter them from the behaviour.  Never pull goats by their horns, never hit the animals or shout at them.

  • Etiquette

1) Always close gates behind you to ensure no goats escape and reduce risk of dogs entering.

2) If you see a dog off lead please ask the owner to put their dog on a lead.

2)  Always approach and move slowly around livestock so as not to startle or stress them. No screaming or shouting when around the herd.

Confidentiality & Communications

1) Please never share the exact location of our herds, or sanctuary or farm to ensure the herd’s safety and security 

2) Please feel free to take photo and videos for your own personal use and enjoyment. However we would ask that you do not post any content (photos, video, comments etc)  to the internet/social media without first checking it with [email protected], as the Old Irish Goat Society is following a structured Communication Strategy.

  • Reporting of Health and Safety Incident(s)

In the event of a Health and Safety incident, please report the incident immediately to the point of contacted listed below.

For Howth Project: Old Irish Goat Society Howth Contact:  Melissa Jeuken: [email protected]

Old Irish Goat Society Mayo Contact: Sean Carolan [email protected]