Goats found poisoned - owner fears they were killed deliberately

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ANIMAL-LOVER Joseph Carter found three dead goats on his smallholding – and he believes they were deliberately killed in a possible vendetta.

The 63-year-old has been left distraught after two of his goats, including a seven-week-old kid, died from suspected poisoning.

DEVASTATED Joseph Carter at his smallholding in Leigh Park. Picture: Sarah Standing (150867-255)

DEVASTATED Joseph Carter at his smallholding in Leigh Park. Picture: Sarah Standing (150867-255)

In the latest incident, a pregnant female was found dead and had had her ear cut off.

The retired builder reported the incidents to the RSPCA and the police, who are appealing for any witnesses.

Mr Carter has kept animals – including goats, ducks, pigeons and chickens – on an allotment near his home in High Lawn Way, Leigh Park, since 1978.

He said: ‘I’m devastated. I loved them so much.

‘It’s all I have in my life. I don’t smoke or drink. I take my grandchildren to see the goats. It’s my little hideaway.’

Mr Carter had 10 goats and now has seven left.

When one of the goats was allegedly maimed, Mr Carter had left the smallholding to go and pick up his grandchildren.

In the other deaths, Mr Carter believes the goats may have been fed a poisonous plant.

He said: ‘It could be anything.

‘Someone could look it up on the internet and find out the sort of stuff goats can’t eat.’

Natalie Galloway, a spokeswoman for Hampshire police, said: ‘There was a report on May 8, some time between 1pm and 6.30pm.

‘We had a report that a goat had been potentially poisoned and one of its kids was taken to the local vets.

‘Unfortunately there’s not enough evidence to pursue an investigation.

‘We would certainly appeal to anyone who has seen anything suspicious to contact us.’

A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said: ‘Unfortunately deliberate poisonings can be very difficult to substantiate as there are a number of common plants that can be poisonous to goats.

‘If the caller has some evidence that this has been a result of deliberate poisoning, we are happy to look further into this issue, if the caller would like to contact us directly.’