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Bolted: Goat nabbed from Eketahuna

Goat owner Hilton Delegat says the thief must have untied his goat’s tether. PHOTO/TOM TAYLOR

A goat was stolen from an Eketahuna farm two days after the SPCA investigated a complaint about the animal’s welfare.

The goat, named Bolt, resided on the roadside of a property alongside State Highway 2 near Mt Bruce.

Goat owner Hilton Delegat said someone had left threatening notes on his doorstep in the weeks leading up to the theft.

In the weeks leading up to the goat theft, someone left threatening notes on the owner’s doorstep. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

The notes claimed that Delegat was illegally tethering his goat to a fence and threatened to report him to the SPCA.

“It is illegal to tie goats up anymore, and it has no shelter. If it is still on the fence line on the main road when I come back tomorrow, I will report it to the SPCA,” one note said.

Delegat, who had bottle-fed Bolt when the goat was a kid, did not pay the notes much attention.

However, soon afterwards, the SPCA paid him a visit.

The SPCA inspectorate team checked the property, and Delegat said they found no issues with the goat’s welfare.

“They said, ‘We don’t have a problem with your goat. He’s a healthy goat, you’ve given him water, you’ve given him shelter, and we don’t have an issue with him being tethered to the fence’.”

Two days later, at about 9pm on September 13, a truck driver saw a man removing the goat from Delegat’s fence.

Images from the driver’s dashcam showed a maroon-coloured vehicle stopped outside Delegat’s property.

Eketahuna police officer Jymahl Glassey said police had reviewed the dashcam footage, but it did not show the registration number of the maroon vehicle.

“We will follow up a couple of other avenues of enquiry, but at this stage, we have no firm or direct links to the offence,” Glassey said.

Delegat said police visited the property of the person who made the original complaint to the SPCA but found no goat or vehicle to match the footage.

“It would be pretty silly if the person who made the complaint stole the goat,” Delegat said. “I’d say there was potentially a second person involved.”

When Delegat posted about the theft on a community Facebook group, he was met with an outpouring of support.

Delegat said Bolt had a “fan club” as he was visible to drivers along SH2.

Bolt the goat was a popular personality on the side of State Highway 2 between Masterton and Eketahuna.

“That’s so rotten,” group member Jacqui Anderson said. “We like driving past and seeing him.”

SPCA Masterton inspectorate team leader Ben Lakomy confirmed that the SPCA had received a call from a member of the public who expressed concern about the living conditions of a goat in the Mt Bruce area.

He could not reveal specific details of the case for privacy reasons.

Regulations under the Animal Welfare Act stated that tethered goats must have access to food, water, and shelter.

The shelter needed to be “fully shaded, dry,” and provide “protection from extremes of heat and cold”.

A person who failed to comply with the regulations would be liable to an infringement fee of $300.

Lakomy said a goat’s shelter did not need to be a built structure and could be a natural shelter provided by bush or dense trees.

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