You should always be aware of scaffolders who ‘get the goat.’ But in the case of Jack Barett from Burnley, he literally wouldn’t be without one. And both neighbours and locals know he’s not kidding, when he expresses love for his long haired pet, ‘Eric’. Yes, we’ve all heard of Monty Python’s Eric The Viking, but Eric The Pygmy Goat?
Jack milks the fact the dad of two not only shares his home with his four-month-old goat but also takes him on holiday, shopping and on long walks in the park. Inspired to take in ‘Eric’ after seeing the Australian TV programme ‘The Jimbo and Gary the Goat comedy show’, he can often be seen in Townely Park with goat happily on lead.
Passers by think it’s great, which is probably why Eric has more than a 100 followers on his own dedicated instagram page.
“He’s got quite a chilled personality, he’s laid back and gets a positive reaction from people when I walk him,” explained 39-year-old Jack.
“It’s fantastic, he’s very tame and well behaved.. He gets on with my children really well, my oldest, Max has cerebral palsy and he loves to stroke Eric and play with him. I’ve owned cats and dogs in the past, but a goat tops the lot.” There can’t be many families spotted holidaying on Lake Windermere with a goat in tow!
Related to the West African dwarf goat they were transported to Europe during the colonial era. The male of the species can weigh up to 39 kilogrammes and stand up to more than half-a-metre tall. Jack added: “I would recommend them as pets, they’re really great. We’ve tried to get Eric into a routine with his toilet habits, he’s slowly getting used to it.”
As for keeping them as pets, well they could almost be classed as a big dog. In fact, Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, anyone responsible for an animal has legal responsibility to meet five basic welfare needs, including a proper diet, somewhere suitable to live, the need to be housed with or apart from other animals, an allowance to express normal behaviour alongside protection and treatment from illness and injury. But if the thought of owning a goat has been knawing away at you – you must remember extra laws governing goats include identification, registration on land they are kept, transport and medicine records. And of course, there’s the vets bills – or should that be………Billy’s? In Jack’s case of course, there’s little doubt they make the very the best pets, ‘Baa none’.