The War Against the Goats in Interwar Greece


  • Giorgos Kostopoulos University of the Aegean


In a bid to prevent deforestation by animal overgrazing, the Ioannis Metaxas authoritarian regime “declared the war against goats” in 1937, with a mandatory law that put restrictions on livestock in the forests of the Greek countryside. According to the law, goats would be removed from all fir forests of the country. But at the same time the livestock breeders would be compensated and offered farmland in public forests. However, the new policy, some claimed, dealt a major blow to the economy of Greece’s mountainous areas, where goat breeding was the only source of income.

Author Biography

Giorgos Kostopoulos, University of the Aegean

Giorgos Kostopoulos completed his bachelor’s degree in European culture from the Department of Humanities of the Hellenic Open University. He continued his studies in the postgraduate program Applied Geography and Spatial Management, with a specialization in European policies, at the Faculty of Environment, Geography and Applied Economics of Harokopio University. He has also completed an English-language master’s degree in environmental sciences at the Department of Environment of the University of the Aegean. Currently he is preparing the proposal for his doctoral studies.

Goats on the island of Palea Kameni, Santorini. CC BY 4.0 Yarl.