Bush Goats in Australia
Goats first came to Australia with the first fleet in 1788 and were used by the early settlers, railway construction crews and miners for milk and meat. A goat fibre industry was developed by importing Cashmere goats to Australia from the 1830's to its collapse in the 1920's. At this time many of the goats were turned out into the bush to join other goats that were already there. By 1972 when cashmere was rediscovered on the Bush goats by a CSIRO research team, these animals were well and truly acclimatized to the Australian environment.
The Development of the Australian Cashmere Goat
By the late 1970's a number of breeders, encouraged by Dawsons International PLC, Scotland; then the worlds largest cashmere processors, decided to develop an Australian Cashmere Goat. They selected Cashmere bearing bush goats. These goats were typically producing 40 to 60 grams of cashmere down. Objective measurements and thorough record keeping focusing on fibre production, fibre quality while retaining the strong constitution of the bush goats has seen the development of the Australian Cashmere Goat.
Australian Cashmere Goats
The Australian Cashmere Goat has come a long way in the last 40 years due largely to the dedication of breeders in Australia. Today the heaviest cutting Cashmere goats produce over 1kg of Cashmere Down. They are farmed in a wide range of environments from cold regions such as Tasmania, Victoria to Arid regions such as South Australia and Western Australia to Hot regions such as Northern NSW and Queensland. The Australian Cashmere Goat thrives and is productive in all these environments.