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Farmer despairs over tourists’ theft of goat bells

goatsGoats.Photo: Lise Åserud (FRB)

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Goat farmer, Reidar Stenberg, despises the fact that tourists steal bells from around his goats’ necks on Hallingskarvet.

 

‘It’s a memory for them of the place they’ve visited,’ Stenberg told NRK news, adding that other farmers are experiencing the same problem.

Stenberg owns 200 goats, and runs Prestholt Geitestøl at Hallingskarvet. According to him, it is not the cost per bell which is the biggest problem, but that the bell is an important symbol of hierarchy in a goat herd. ‘Only one goat in a herd wears bells, and that’s the boss’, he said.

‘People probably don’t think about it, but the bell wearing goats get a chief role. So what happens when it loses its bells is that you are degrading the goats’ position in the herd’, said Stenberg.

Board member of Telemark Bondelag (Farming Union), Hege Gonsholt, confirmed that goat bells are stolen at well-known tourist sites.

‘When you bring the goats back on the pasture, or to milking, it’s very helpful to hear the bells. The goats’ bells have a different sound to sheep bells. They are put on for a reason, they are not just decoration’, said Gonsholt.

© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today

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