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Animal rights campaigners want to "take the Puck out of the fair"

ARAN wants the goat removed from the festival.

The Puck at the fair
The Puck at the fair
Image: ARAN

A WAR OF words has broken out for the second year running over the treatment of the ‘King Puck’ goat during the Puck Fair.

The Puck Fair is a long-running festival in Killorglin Co Kerry, and the Puck King is a live goat that is traditionally hoisted in the air, where it stays in a cage for a number of days during the festival.

The Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) has questioned the animal’s treatment.

In a statement, John Carmody of ARAN said:

ARAN is urging the good folk of Killorglin to stand with us and compassionate people across Ireland who now agree that tradition should never be used to justify animal suffering.
The puck is a wild animal who doesn’t understand the loud noise, bright lights, and thousands of people in front of him, and he certainly doesn’t understand being hoisted into the air and left there to dangle over a weekend. We’re encouraging the festival goers to get with the times and take the puck out of the Fair, because if you wouldn’t do it your dog, why do it to a goat?

ARAN is concerned about the fact the wild-caught goat is hoisted into the air, believing the animal is “terrified” by what occurs.

Puck Fair 3 Source: ARAN

However, as with last year, these concerns have been dismissed. South Kerry TD Michael Healy Rae told Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1 this morning that what Carmody suggests is “not correct” and is “nonsense”.

He said that after the goat is caught, he is treated for fluke and lice, and his toenails are cut. He is also fed with cabbage and branches from ash trees, which Healy Rae said are a “delicacy” for goats.

“He is treated exceptionally well,” said Healy Rae. “He is under constant supervision of a vet and very responsible people.”

He added that the goat has “constant food, constant water and constant supervision”.

The truth of the fact of this matter is the goat is returned to the wild in a way better condition than when he is captured. For Mr Carmody to say otherwise is not fair.

Last year, the organisers of Puck Fair told TheJournal.ie that the welfare of King Puck “is the priority at all times”

Read: Raising of King Puck goat goes ahead amid animal welfare concerns>

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