GOATS arrived in Australia with the First Fleet in 1788 and spread with settlers throughout the country.
The original goats were a varied and hardy herd capable of utilising harsh Australian pastures to produce milk and meat. Some of the first herd escaped into the wild and have evolved into the unique Australian rangeland goat.
These goats have since contributed to the development of the modern Australian cashmere and angora breeds which have been invaluable to many farmers as they diversify their income.
More recently these rangeland goats have become the mainstay of a growing goat meat industry.
According to the Goat Industry Council, the Australian goat industry is continuing to grow and evolve to meet increasing global demand for goat meat, dairy products and fibre.
Goat meat is the most widely consumed meat in the world, mainly due to the few, if any, religious taboos limiting goat meat consumption.
On a worldwide basis, more people drink the milk of goats than any other single animal.
Things you may not know about the goat industry...
- Australia is a relatively small producer of goat meat, but is the world's largest exporter of goat meat.
- Australian goat slaughter in 2011-12 was about 1.63 million head.
- Traditionally, Australian bush goats (rangeland goats) and boer goats are used for meat production.
- Goat meat is extremely low in fat and a good source of protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin B12
- In 2011-12, Australia exported 24,478 tonnes swt of goat meat.
- The two largest markets for Australian goat meat are the US and Taiwan