• Murrae Stephens

The Gorgeous Angora

I was lucky enough to attend the Mohair Summit several years ago in Graff-Reinett and spent time looking at the goat judging and shearing demonstrations. Having seen the recent footage of some of the abuses exposed in the mohair industry by PETA I was shocked and saddened. I hope this is a very isolated incident.

From what I have seen, visiting various farms and attending demonstrations and exhibitions, the goats are highly prized and treated respectfully and carefully. The shearing process will always be stressful to sheep and goats and there is no excuse for brutality when handling these animals. The goats are not handled much as they spend most of their lives ranging around the dry karoo landscape, so shearing is done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The shearing I saw at a demonstration was extraordinary as the goat was relaxed and co-operated well with the shearer. It was over in minutes. It only happens once or twice a year. Many goats are also now provided with jackets to help them adjust to not having their own coat.

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