Puck Fair in Killorglin, Co Kerry has removed King Puck, a wild mountain goat, from atop the 50-foot structure at the center of the festival and moved him into the shade due to the heat.
“Under the 5 Freedoms of Animal Welfare, Puck Fair continues to ensure that the welfare of King Puck is their highest priority," organizers said in a statement today, the second day of the three-day festival.
“Due to unprecedented spells of hot, sunny weather, King Puck was removed from the top of the stand this morning (Thursday 11th August), placed in the shade with a constant supply of cold water and food, and is receiving hourly vet check-ups that continue to show that the goat has a good bill of health.”
Official statement from the Puck Fair Organising Committee - 11th August 2022 pic.twitter.com/gF3om0KVsa— Puck Fair (@puck_fair) August 11, 2022
According to RTÉ, Ireland's Department of Agriculture said in a statement on Thursday: "The Department has been in contact with the independent private veterinary practitioner attending the Fair and welcomes the decision of the organisers, which has today been communicated to the Department, to take the goat down at 11:30 am this morning."
Organizers are expected to decide later today whether or not King Puck will return to the top of the structure.
King Puck 2022 has been crowned after a fantastic Parade and Coronation Ceremony, even Sam Maguire was in attendance....Posted by Puck Fair on Thursday, August 11, 2022
Met Éireann, Ireland’s meteorological service, predicted a high of 23°C in Killorglin on Thursday, coinciding with the Status Yellow - High Temperature warning that is in place for the provinces of Leinster and Munster for Thursday and Friday.
There has been a weather advisory in place for the whole of Ireland since yesterday, August 10, and is set to remain in place through Monday, August, 15. Daytime temperatures will widely reach the mid to high twenties, Met Éireann forecasts for the period, with the overnights remaining uncomfortably warm.
The hot weather has reignited some people's criticisms of Puck Fair, Ireland's oldest festival that sees a wild mountain goat captured from the nearby mountain range. The goat is crowned as "King Puck" and placed in a pen atop a 50-foot structure in the middle of town for two nights and three days as festivities abound.
Many are critical of the practice, citing concerns for the welfare of the wild mountain goat. However, Declan Falvey, chairperson of the Puck Fair committee, asserted earlier this week that the well-being of the wild mountain goat is paramount.