British army demotes goat for insubordination

"Billy", full name William Windsor, a goat and mascot of the 2nd batallion, Royal Welsh regiment of the British Army has been demoted from lance-corporal to fusilier.


British army demotes goat for insubordination

[[Not surprisingly, it's the mascot for a Welsh regiment]]

This is Shenkin, the mascot of the Royal Welsh before Billy. He stands guard at the entrance to Cardiff Castle with Goat Major Sargent David Joseph, for Prince Charles's visit, in March 2000.

LONDON (AP) - A British army regiment's mascot goat was demoted in disgrace after it disrupted a parade before a host of international dignitaries to mark the Queen's birthday, a military spokesman said Saturday.

The military mascot, a six-year-old male goat called Billy, was downgraded from the rank of lance-corporal to fusilier - the same status as a private - after army chiefs ruled his poor display ruined the ceremony June 16 at a British army base in Episkopi, western Cyprus.

Lance-Cpl. Dai Davies, 22, the goat's handler, was unable to keep control during the parade earlier this month, as the mascot darted from side to side, throwing soldiers off their stride, spokesman Capt. Crispian Coates said by telephone from Episkopi - one of two British bases on the island.

"The goat, which has been the Royal Welsh Regiment's mascot since 2001, was supposed to be leading the march but would not stay in line," said Coates.

"He was reported for insubordination and after consideration, the commanding officer decided he had no option but to demote Billy."

Capt. William Rose, a soldier present at the parade, said the goat "was trying to headbutt the waist and nether regions of the drummers."

A total of 11 mascots - including a ferret, an Indian black buck and a ram - are kept by the British army but regiments do not take the mascots on tours to combat zones. British members of Parliament were told last month keeping the mascots costs the equivalent of about $60,000 Cdn a year.

The Welsh regiment was presented with a goat from the royal herd in 1746 and Billy is descended from the same bloodline, said a spokeswoman for Britain's Ministry of Defence, on customary condition of anonymity.

"He is not a grazing goat and has food flown in from Wales. Billy also has an allowance of two cigarettes a day - both of which he eats," said the spokeswoman.

Ambassadors from Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, a United Nations special representative and the head of UN forces in Cyprus all attended the parade in Cyprus, Coates added. (external - login to view)
A sheep would have been more appropriate for that lot. Not that i'm implying they are nothing but a lot of sheep shaggers,eh!
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