The Old Irish Goat Society does not support the promotion of trophy hunting enabled by Irish agencies profiting from inadequate legislation in this country and destroying a vital genetic resource.
We are aware of and support the recent petition for the protection of the endangered and native Old Irish Goat recently posted on https://bit.ly/33exhSd
Ireland is clearly identified as a tourist destination where now, at heart, national heritage, animal welfare, Irish traditions and culture can all have a price. We are a welcoming nation but we cannot approve of entertaining this callous and cruel disregard of our endangered living heritage.
Lauren Ruddell, PhD.(1)
Professor Emeritus, University of Utah, USA.
Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism.
The goal of taking a trophy is to collect the very best specimen that money can buy.
Trophy hunters target the largest and most impressive individuals from a species, which exerts unnatural selection on populations (2) (3). Selectively hunting these individuals can result in reduced body size, earlier sexual maturity, altered dispersal patterns, and changes in physical traits or behaviour (2) (3) (4). Reduction in sexually selected traits can alter mate choice and result in changes in the gene pool and lower quality offspring. Old Irish Goats have a very low birthrate to start with and kid mortality in the first few days of life is high. Hunting pressure can also negatively alter reproduction and life history patterns (5) (6) (7).
Trophy hunting can affect genetic structures and increase the rates of inbreeding, with potentially catastrophic long-term effects on population viability (2) (4) (7) (8). From Trophy Hunting by the Numbers: The European Union’s role in global trophy hunting Import and Export of CITES listed species between 2014 and 2018 (9).
(1) Professor Emeritus, University of Utah, USA.
— Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism.
(2) Allendorf & Hard, 2009.
(3) Mysterud, 2011.
(4) Allendorf et al.. 2008.
(5) Balme et al., 2009.
(6) Bischof et al…2018.
(7) Frank et al.2020.
(8) Naude et al., 2020
(9) From Trophy Hunting by the Numbers: The European Union’s role in global trophy hunting – Import and Export of CITES listed species between 2014 and 2018.
The dead freshly bloodied trophy heads we see pictured with the petition remain hauntingly regal and convey the enormous and irretrievable loss of Irish living heritage by this abject hunter trophy enterprise.
A Goat’s Lament
A poem by Catherine McGeachy
I groaned a gutted gasp
As I heaved my last Breath
In bloodied solitude
Downed in secret hills
For mindless pleasure
Stripped of all that is noble
Of heritage, history and home
I hang In gaunt indignity
A once honoured Presence
Now ornamental commodity
Yet I, of storied ancestry
Who roamed sacred glens
Once served My Community
With life-preserving Nourishment
Where are the heroes of Éireann,
Its Guardians of Soul and Soil?
Protectors Of Ancient treasures?
Rise Up and Rout the Robber
Of the Old Irish Goat.