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Freemasonry Watch

Goat abandoned at Freemasons Hall

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Northhampton Chronicle & Echo - U.K.

Goat abandoned at Freemasons Hall

Abandoned goat freemasons hall

Kerry Berry and Tracy Warren from Animals In Need with the goat

02 October 2007

By Donna Bowater

An abandoned goat sparked a dramatic day-long rescue mission after being mysteriously dumped in the garden of Freemasons Hall.

The male goat appeared tied to a tree in the corner of the lawn at the Freemasons Hall and Conference Centre in St George's Avenue, Northampton, on Monday morning.

He could not be moved until the RSPCA had been granted a movement order by Defra because of the current bluetongue crisis.

The bearded billy goat was eventually rescued by volunteers from Animals in Need last night and has now been taken to the sanctuary's base in Little Irchester.

Pippa Boyd, an RSPCA inspector for Northampton, said: "We got the call but we had problems with restrictions on movement. We had to get a movement order from Defra because goats are at risk of Bluetongue so there was a bit of a delay in moving him.

"We needed somewhere to house him so we called Animals in Need, and once he goes there, there's a 20 day movement restriction in high-risk zones before he can go anywhere else.

"Hopefully, we'll be able to identify where he came from by the number tag in his ear but it depends how up to date the identification tag is."

The goat was discovered by a member of the kitchen staff at the centre, although no one at the Freemasons has any idea how the goat came to be there.

Animals in Need helpers, Tracy Warren and Kerry Berry helped secure the goat with a lead before Roy Marriott took him away.

A spokesman for the Freemasons said: "He just appeared. Someone bought him here, tied him to the tree and left a bowl of water. We contacted the police but they said it's not a police matter, and we're checking CCTV footage to find out who left him there.

"We've never had anything like this before. The RSPCA said he wasn't in bad nick but I don't know how old he is. He smells a bit but it's a bit of a novelty.

"We will have to make a donation to Animals in Need."

Northamptonshire is still in a low risk zone for foot and mouth disease, but part of the county has been placed under the protection zone for Bluetongue.

Alison Pratt, Northamptonshire spokeswoman for the National Farmers' Union said: "We are still trying to decipher the borders of the Bluetongue protection zone which crosses some parts of Northamptonshire.

"At the moment it's still very unclear and something we are trying to get clarification on."

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