Goats killed by turbine racket
by David Masters
May 27, 2009
A goat farmer in Taiwan claims that the noise of wind turbines built near his grazing land disturbs the sleeping patterns of his goats, with 400 animals allegedly dying of exhaustion since the turbines were installed.
Before the turbines were built, Kuo Jing-shan had about 700 goats at his farm on Penghu, an outlying Taiwanese island.
He now has just 250 goats, and blames the demise of his flock on the racket of the turbines during Penghu’s notorious howling wind storms.
Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture agrees with the farmer’s verdict, and says the turbine’s late night loud spinning may have caused the goats’ deaths through sleep deprivation.
Lu Ming-tseng, Council of Agriculture inspector, said: “If noise at night can keep people awake, then it could also keep the goats awake, and when the wind kicks up it makes a louder noise.”
Unusual sounds can affect an animal’s appetite, disturb the growth of juvenile animals, and cause terminal insomnia, Lu added.
Taipower, the energy company that owns the wind farm, said it doubts the noise has caused the goats’ deaths, and is not offering any compensation for the lost goats.
The firm has, however, offered to part-fund the building of a new farmhouse away from the turbines.
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