The first English Goat Breeders' Association was formed in the 1920s and the first Herd Book containing over 160 goats was published in 1924.
The aim of this Association was to try and revive the smaller, hardier, lower yielding English Goat. Perhaps because of a clash of interests between those who wished to do this and those who wanted the English goat to compete with the heavier yielding imported breeds, the Association collapsed in 1935.
The present Association was formed in 1978 by a group of like-minded goatkeepers who found that 'odd' coloured goats with characteristics and conformation reminiscent of pre Swiss/Nubian times were being discovered, bred and kept independently in Lancashire, Dorset and Somerset. Similar goats have since been found in Cornwall, Wales, Scotland and East Anglia, many with no known Swiss or Nubian ancestors. The aim was to breed selectively from animals showing English charasteristics in order to re-establish a good quality, medium size, hardy goat which did not require high maintenance, but would consistently give a reasonable quantity and quality of milk.
The Breed Standard adopted by the EGBA in1978 was the same as that published in 1919, based on earlier descriptions in Holmes Pegler's 'The Book of the Goat', first published in the late 1870s. Over the past 25 years, a gene pool has been, and continues to be created. Ther are now over 1800 entries in the Herd Book and after 5 generations or more the English Goat is breeding true. The result is an attractive goat with striking markings which is ideal for the smallholder or as a ‘house goat’. The breed has gained in recognition and respect from other organisations in the goat world.