In July and August 2009, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will contact randomly selected goat producers in 21 states to participate in the first national study of priority health and health-management issues facing the U.S. goat industry.
Two USDA agencies-the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the National Agricultural Statistics Service--will conduct the study, which will focus on the health, productivity and management practices of the meat, dairy and fiber goat industries. USDA will collect data from producers representing 78.4 percent of U.S. goat operations and 85.3 percent of U.S. goats.
APHIS' National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS), which designed the study and will analyze the data, worked with industry representatives, academia, veterinary representatives and other stakeholders to ensure that the study addresses the industry's priority health issues. The Goat 2009 study has the following major objectives:
Participation in USDA's Goat 2009 study is voluntary and confidential. Results will be presented on regional and national bases; data provided by individual participants will remain confidential and cannot be identified. Links between NAHMS data and participating operations are confidential.