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A Brief History of Angora Goats in Australia

Angora goats were first imported into Australia in 1832 and 1833.  They came from M Polonceau's stud in France. By 1832 his herd was in its 16th generation of Cashmere-Angora breeding.  At the same time two pure bred bucks and two pure bred does were also imported from  H RH the Duchess of Berri.

Pure bred Angoras were imported from Turkey in 1853, 1856, 1863,1865, 1869,1871 and 1873.  From about 1860  there was every possibility that some were upgraded Angoras originating from the "Turkish native" or Anatolian Black, a fleece and meat goat, as Turkey had begun an upgrading program to rapidly increase numbers.  By 1870 the original Angora in Turkey was virtually extinct.  There were importations from South Africa in 1873 and from USA about 1890.

My information for this history comes from a paper written by J V Evans published in "Refresher Course For Veterinarians, Proceedings No.73, The JD Stewart Memorial Refresher Course in Goats", and in a book written by Alma Bode. "Australian Angora Goat Husbandry".

This is the foundation from which our Australian Angora goat has evolved.

There were a few Angora goat breeders in Australia before the 1900's, but by 1950 all interest in Angoras had gone.  Mr Barton, who began his Banksia flock in 1904, was the only breeder to continue.  He kept the breed pure to the original importations,untainted by the blood of feral or dairy goats.  He registered as a stud in 1947 with the Goat Breed Society of Australia (GBS)

By 1963 fourteen Angora studs were registered with this Society.

Volumes 5 to 16 of the Goat Breed Society of Australia records the first 500 goats that were pure bred.  Later volumes include animals that cannot be traced directly and solely to the Banksia pure bred herd, as with the upsurge of interest in the Angora goat an upgrading program began in the 1960's using feral and dairy goats.
So by reading through this history it could be assumed that all Angoras tracing back to the pure bred Banksia herd are possibly the closest in breeding to the original pure bred Turkish Angora goat, making them the purist Angoras in Australia and possibly the world.

In 1964-65 The Mohair Producers and Angora Goat Breeders Association was formed and affiliated with the Federal Council of the Goat Breeders' Society.
In 1971 the Angora Mohair Association of Australia was formed.  Some breeders stayed with the Goat Breed Society, but by 1975 they formed their own society called The Angora Breed Society of Australia (ABS) and the GBS withdrew completely from its previous interest in Angoras.
The Angora Goat Breeders Inc. was formed in 1973 (incorporated in 1988) by a group of dedicated breeders, to preserve the purity of the Angora goat and to protect its interests.  Its interests include amongst many things every crossbred and grade animal bred from an Angora parent.
They operate a closed register for purebred Angora goats, bucks and does. This register is for Angora goats descended solely and directly from bucks and does registered in the numbered section of The Goat Breeders of Australia Herd Book, (Volumes 5 to 16) inclusive.  The Angora Goat Breeders Inc. also caters for Coloured Angora Goats and Cashmere type goats.

Update April 2000:  Unfortunately the Angora Goat Breeders Inc. now no longer exists.  .
From August 2002 both the White and Coloured Angora goats are listed with Rare Breeds Trust of Australia, as being critically endangered and known as Australian Heritage Angora goats.

Erinrac Enterprises operates a register for pedigreed goats.  White Angoras, Coloured Angoras, Cashmere goats, Meat goats and developing types.  The registrations are now done on line at http://www.erinrac.com/index.php

They can also be contacted at Erinrac, Upper Beaconsfield, Victoria 3808, Australia.  For further information their email address is: jan@erinrac.com