Another "Goats are Dangerous" Article

This article in the Twin Falls, Idaho paper needs to be responded to. Every time this BS appears in the media, we need to take action.

My comments to the writer of this article:
Every time I read an article like yours, I see the same old VERY TIRED line concerning Packgoats, "...due to their potential to transmit disease to bighorn sheep."

This entire mythical presupposition about Packgoats, i.e., that they are a danger and have the potential to transmit disease to Bighorn Sheep (BHS) is absolute nonsense.


1) We DON'T carry pneumonia, such as mycoplasma ovipneumoniae, the current 'believed' first cause of BHS pneumonia. How do we know that? A recent testing of 570 packgoats from around the west turned up extremely insignificant numbers of 'positives' from the testing, and even those were questionable.

2) We can be tested to see if we carry it, and are willing to do that to prove that we are safe to be in the woods. If you don't got it, you can't 'give it'.

3) Packgoats and BHS are NOT attracted to each other. In my only encounter with BHS, they were 1/8th of a mile away, and as soon as they were aware of our presence (I and my packgoats), they began to move AWAY, not towards us.

4) A lost Packgoat will NOT go looking for another herd of animals to join, they go looking for a human. Why? Because packgoats are tightly bonded to their human. They have been conditioned from birth to see a human as their leader. Therefore, on the extremely rare conditions that a packgoat does get lost, he goes looking for a human as that is his 'normal'. His brain is wired that way and once firmly implanted, is not easily changed. The two lost packgoats that are documented on the Internet that land managers love to point out, went looking for a human to bond with, and I have personal experience with this issue myself. My boys are bonded to me, and want to be only one place, with me. When I leave camp to go to the bathroom, if they are not highlined, I have company. That's just the way it is.

5) Lastly, the most recent 'close penning' experiment done by Dr. Tom Besser, Washington State University, he penned the following in his final document, "Do Domestic Goats Represent a Risk to Bighorn Sheep?

"If that low prevalence (of Movi) is confirmed, and unless new informatikon to the contrary arises, I veleive that M. ovipheumoniae test-negative pack gaoats represent a negligible risk for triggering pneumonia outbreaks in bighorn sheep and that it would be reasonable to take this into account when setting public lands policies."

I am available at any time to discuss this issue.

Larry Robinson
Thanks for keeping on top of these things Larry. I'm tired of the constant recirculation of misinformation too.

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