Kashmir Snow, Cold Threaten Pashmina Goats

Thousands in stranded herds will die without fodder air drop
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2008 10:37 AM CST
Kashmiri women work needle embroidery on pashmina and woollen shawls in the village of Mirpur in the central Budgam district of Kashmir. Throughout the long years of insurgency wracking Indian Kashmir,...   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The goats that provide the wool for those sought-after Pashmina shawls are in danger from heavy snow in Kashmir, the BBC reports. The goats' winter pastures are covered in snow and local officials have asked the Indian government to air drop goat fodder before the animals starve. Many thousands of the goats, whose wool is considering among the finest in the world, could be at risk of dying.

Snowfalls have cut much of the area off from road traffic. Nomads traveling on foot through the Ladakh region brought the problem to the government's attention. An unusually harsh winter has already hit the goats hard. "The pregnant goats have had miscarriages and the young ones are dying because of the cold," said a local official.