The big goat giveaway

Goats are a big problem

Goats are a big problem Photo: Pickpik

More than 600 goats, less than 100 inhabitants. For some years now, on Alicudi, a volcanic island in the Aeolian islands near Sicily, wild goats have become a big problem.

On an island of only 5 square kilometres, and where less than 100 people live permanently, the animals are causing damage to the island’s typical plant species and to a substantial portion of the island’s dry stone walls, which support the so-called ‘lenze’ (plots of land facing the sea in the southern part of the island).

Go and get them

It’s an emergency to which the Mayor has responded by offering the animals as gifts to breeders. Mayor Riccardo Gullo, has published, through the Department of Agriculture, a public notice which gives the goats away for free and states, “those interested can go and get them”.

Animal rights activists are appalled as this, “opens up the possibility for these wonderful animals to be slaughtered”, said the Italian Association for the Defence of Animals and the Environment (AIDAeA), in a statement.

So many requests

Meanwhile, the giveaway has been a runaway success. “We’ve seen an explosion of requests”,  the Mayor wrote on Facebook. Which is probably not surprising given the fact that each animal on the market would be worth around €200.

The animal activists concluded that, “we cannot accept this mass exodus of goats from the island with the risk that other islands will also follow this crazy decision”, said the animal activists of AIDAeA. “Eradicating goats from their territory for no reason whatsoever is, in our opinion, a crime of animal mistreatment”.

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Written by

Kevin Fraser Park

Kevin was born in Scotland and worked in marketing, running his own businesses in UK, Italy and, for the last 8 years, here in Spain. He moved to the Costa del Sol in 2016 working initially in real estate. He has a passion for literature and particularly the English language which is how he got into writing.