The proposed World Goat Day is an idea to honor historical values of animal husbandry and showcase the status of small ruminants in the production system and food security in Iran. Celebrating World Goat Day in Iran will proceed to identify the historical signs and traces of goat in the culture and art of Iran. These historical artifacts are on display in National Museum of Iran, the Louvre Museum, in France, the United Nations, and have prominent role in the ancient tradition of Nowruz.
We decided to introduce the idea of having the World Goat Day in Iran on a global level. This proposal inquired international consensus and opinion on this issue. We attempted to communicate with the International Goat Association (IGA) that dates back 35 years (1983) and is official sponsor of Journal of Small Ruminant Research (SRR) with an impact factor of 1.08. This journal is published by Elsevier and indexed in the Science Direct and is the only international journal in small ruminants, focused on goats.
After 6 months of information exchange, the IGA suggested that first; Iran should write a proposal and demonstrate the significance of goats in Iran and importance of having a national goat day. Upon receipt of the Goat Day proposal, IGA will announce the results on the next international assembly. The final decision would be announced in the general assembly coinciding with the 12th International Conference on Goats, September 25-30, 2016, Antalya, Turkey. The Iran's proposal including framework, goals and bases of the conference was presented by the Executive Secretary of the World Goat Day on September 24, 2016 and received approval in the 12th International Conference on Goats, Turkey. Issuance of approval letter implementation was on September 26, 2016.
Following the acceptance of the proposal, the Animal Sciences Research Institute of Iran (ASRI) in collaboration with Iranian Tribal Affair Organization, Secretary of Livestock Production and other associated agencies attempted to honor and celebrate World Goat Day in 2017. However, actual date is September 18 and 19, 2017. This idea was widely welcomed and supported financially and morally by breeders from around the country and national and local government officials and the private sector and non-governmental organizations (NGO). World Goat Day Symposium will obtain international dimension with a message from FAO representative in Iran and the member states of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO).
Since then, the Animal Sciences Research Institute of Iran (ASRI) with collaboration of many entities including, Under-Secretary of Livestock Production, National Animal Breeding Center and Promotion of Animal Products, Secretary of Agriculture Extension, Office of Village and Tribal Women, Iranian Tribal Affair Organization, Forestry, Pasture and Wetland Organization, Iranian Veterinary Organization, Central Organization of Village Cooperatives, Department of Industrial Agricultural Products, national and international organizations such as Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization of Iran, Environmental Protection Organization, International Goat Association, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Word Organization for Animal Health (OIE), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have taken actions and establish multiple meetings, follow-ups and continuous correspondence for proper implementation of the program.
To learn more about World Goat Day theory and plan, at first, we will have a quick look at the past, the present and the future of goat and its re-emergence due to the changing environmental conditions. In continuation at the following sections we will introduce Iran’s various breeds of goats, production and breed particulars.
Goat production history and its development at the glance
Archeological investigations of relics from past civilizations show that links between goats and people and their livelihoods were very close and dependent on each-other. Aarcheological investigations indicate, that the goat was first domesticated in the Tigris–Euphrates in west Asia called ”Fertile Crescent“ of the eastern Mediterranean. Domestication of wild goats was evident first in the Zagros mountains in Gangi Dareh (Iran) around 8000 B.C. Since then, the goat has been involved in many aspects of human culture including religion, tradition, folklore, nutrition, livelihood, commerce, and economics.
Goats are valued for providing variety of products and services important for man throughout the world. In developed countries goats are valued mainly for their milk, fiber, and meat while in the developing countries, they are valued mainly for meat, followed by milk, fiber and skins.
The socio-economic relevance of goats is greatest in developing countries when compared to developed countries. This is evident by how they meet socio-economic, cultural and recreational needs of these societies. Their small size is especially relevant and relates directly to economics, managerial and biological advantages over other species.
Goat products include meat, milk, fiber, and skins. Goat meat is widely consumed locally and may be exported. Milk is of secondary importance, being consumed primarily by the household in developing countries. In developed countries milk and milk products and notably cheeses are sold commercially and consumed widely. Milk and milk products have gained popularity and are important contributors to the holistic human nutrition.
Commercially goat fiber (mohair and cashmere), is considered one of the most elegant fibers in the world. Goat skin is also a very valuable product with high added value especially in European markets (Goat Science and Production, S.G. Solaiman, ©2010 Blackwell Publishing).