Image by Andres Iga

AROUND THE WORLD

Goat Meat is the most widely consumed meat in the world. There are few, if any, religious taboos limiting goat meat consumption. In fact, goat meat is an important component of the traditions of Hindu and Muslim faiths.

The largest producers of goat meat are the largest consumers, but not the largest importers or exporters.

Top 10 Goat Meat Importers
  • United States
  • UAE
  • China
  • Qatar
  • Hong Kong
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Italy
  • France
  • Canada
  • Trinidad & Tobago
Top 10 Goat Meat Exporters
  • Australia
  • Ethiopia
  • China
  • Pakistan
  • France
  • Saudi Arabia
  • New Zealand
  • United States
  • Spain
  • Argentina
Top 10 Goat Inventories
  • China (180 million)
  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Sudan
  • Nigeria
  • Iran, Islamic Rep of
  • Ethiopia
  • Mongolia
  • Indonesia
Top 10 Goat Meat Producers
  • China 
  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Sudan
  • Nigeria
  • Iran, Islamic Rep of
  • Indonesia
  • Greece
  • Mali
United States
Australia and New Zealand are the primary exporters of goat meat to the United States - 92.5 percent of which comes from Australia. The goat meat industry is the fastest growing segment of the U.S. livestock industry. In 2008, the USDA's National Agriculture Statistics Service reported 3,150,000 meat goats in the United States, yet American producers are unable to meet domestic demand.
Domestication
Wild ancestors of modern goats, known as Persian or Bezoar goats (Capra aegagrus) once roamed from South Asia to Crete. It is believed human goat herding began 10,000 years ago in the Zagros highlands of western Iran, as evidenced through selective slaughter of young males. DNA studies support that domestication began at that time due to the rapid growth of the goat population. Domesticated goats (Capra hircus) demonstrate remarkable genetic uniformity worldwide. Genetic analysis suggests that goats were commonly traded in ancient times, which dispersed the population to Europe, Africa, and Asia. Later, they provided a convenient source of milk and meat aboard the ships of European explorers, who introduced goats to the New World.
Australia
A relatively small producer of goat meat but is the largest goat meat exporter in the world. Australia ranks 92nd in the FAO goat inventory database. It ranks 36th in goat meat production and produces only about 0.3% of the world's goat meat. The top five markets for Australian goat meat are: the US, Taiwan, the Caribbean, Canada and Japan. 57% of Australia's goatmeat exports were to the US (2007-2008). The largest markets for Australian live goats are Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.