RSPCA probes goat complaint at farm

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Goats will no longer be forced to complete an agility course at Mead Open Farm, after the RSPCA investigated claims that one animal was ‘dragged round by its face...smashing into obstacles’.

The farm launched the agility show on July 24 – naming its five pygmy goats after boy band One Direction.

But the new exhibition has been dealt a blow after one visitor claimed the goats were being subjected to animal cruelty.

Following a visit on July 30 Christine Mayles wrote to the farm’s owner and to the RSPCA, complaining that goats were forcibly ‘dragged’ around the course.

In an online review she added: “This is not entertainment, it is straight forward misguided cruelty.

“Later on that evening we also witnessed a member of staff kick a chicken that they were trying to put in the chicken house for the night,

“Perhaps there is a problem with some staff members and their attitudes towards their charges.”

Farm owner Matt Heast told the LBO: “Although the staff do encourage the goats, they would never be cruel to them. The team at Mead Open Farm are made up of animals lovers and our animal welfare is of the paramount importance.

“To guide the hens into the house, members of staff put their foot out to stop the chickens going past them.

“The team never kick the chickens, they are simply guiding them into the hen house.”

An RSPCA spokesman said: “An inspector attended the farm, confirmed the goats were in good condition and was satisfied with the overall animal care. He spoke with the owner who had already decided to no longer pull goats around the course.”