Other common names: British Landrace Goat; Old British Goat
The British Primitive Goat is believed to be the descendant of goats brought to the British Isles in the Neolithic period (c. 4000 - 2000 B.C.E.). This small, long-haired breed is the goat which was kept by neolithic farmers, and then later by the Anglo-Saxon and Viking invaders. It is currently highly endangered, and may number as low as 1,500 goats.
According to the British Feral Goat Research Group, "The British Primitive Goat is now one of our rarer breeds. 200 years ago there were not less than a million domestic goats, belonging to out old British breed, in Scotland and Northern England. As agricultural practices changed, however, the goat became less and less popular. When, in the 1870's, a Victorian goat revival began to reinstate it as 'the poor man's cow', culminating with the founding of the British Goat Society in 1879, no one was by then interested in the old British breed. They were simply too small, hairy and inconveniently horned. What was wanted was a big goat with a short and smooth coat and no horns that gave plenty of milk. And so it was that foreign breeds were introduced from India, the Middle East and Switzerland."