A vet has hailed the birth of the first goat conceived via artificial insemination (AI).

The birth at at Tarn Farm Vets and Paragon Advanced Breeding, where laparoscopic AI techniques have made advancements in goat breeding.

Ben Dustan, Paragon shareholder and the vet responsible for the procedure, sees potential in the development.

"This is an exciting development for me personally and for Paragon," said Mr Dustan.

"It is the first time Paragon has ventured into the world of goat advanced breeding.

"We have become one of only a small number of veterinary centres able to offer this service within the UK."

The venture's inaugural goat, Bricks, is owned by Chris and Harriet McPhee of McPhees Goat Company, Maulds Meaburn.

Mr Dustan said: "Bricks was the result of our first attempt at the technique in goats and our first kid to hit the ground.

News and Star: Bricks was created using semen from a top Dutch Saanen stud goat called Lego, with the aim of improving the genetics of the milking herdBricks was created using semen from a top Dutch Saanen stud goat called Lego, with the aim of improving the genetics of the milking herd (Image: Paragon vets)

"He was proof that our approach was working and that we can undertake the technique successfully."

The AI procedure, used Hampshire's pedigree Dutch Saanen stud goat, Lego, for improved genetics in their milking herd.

The McPhees, who currently farm 200 goats at Meaburn Hall, started out just three years ago providing quality milk to artisanal cheesemakers.

Owner Harriet McPhee said: "AI is going to absolutely transform our herd.

"It will transform the health status, reduce the risk of bringing in animals that can harm the health status of our animals, and transform our yield and our income.

"Paragon have been fantastic.

"Without Ben we probably wouldn’t still be going.

"It is amazing that Paragon are developing goat AI, we are very fortunate to have them nearby."

The McPhees are continuing to use AI throughout their herd, using semen from top sires across the UK and Europe.

They see bricks, who they watch grow every day, as proof positive of this innovation's potential to bring about transformation.

Looking forward, Paragon hopes to expand the goat advanced breeding service and to offer it commercially throughout Cumbria and the North West.

A commercial service would represent the natural expansion of the company, and they eagerly plan for advanced breeding techniques like embryo transfer and potentially In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) for goats.