Is $50 a fair price for a bride? How about a goat?

From the BBC, this news report:

Sudan man forced to ‘marry’ goat

A Sudanese man has been forced to take a goat as his “wife”, after he was caught having sex with the animal.

The goat’s owner, Mr Alifi, said he surprised the man with his goat and took him to a council of elders.

They ordered the man, Mr Tombe, to pay a dowry of 15,000 Sudanese dinars ($50) to Mr Alifi.

“We have given him the goat, and as far as we know they are still together,” Mr Alifi said.

Mr Alifi, Hai Malakal in Upper Nile State, told the Juba Post newspaper that he heard a loud noise around midnight on 13 February and immediately rushed outside to find Mr Tombe with his goat.

“When I asked him: ‘What are you doing there?’, he fell off the back of the goat, so I captured and tied him up”.

Mr Alifi then called elders to decide how to deal with the case.

“They said I should not take him to the police, but rather let him pay a dowry for my goat because he used it as his wife,” Mr Alifi told the newspaper.

It is good to see creative ideas flourishing around the world.

After the offender had been tied up by the goat’s owner, he probably felt like $50 for the goat was getting off pretty cheap.

How much does a goat usually go for in Sudan? Surely less than $50. A good goat sells
for as much as $100
in the U.S., but this probably was not a very good goat.

(Thanks to my old student Ryan Parks for this link.)

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  1. yesteray says:

    Any support for the notion that, “this probably was not a very good goat.” This goat is much more able to survive and produce meat, milk and offspring that the “good” US goat.

    The prices you quote are goats for slaughter, per hundredweight, and the table notes that these are 40-80 pound goats. So the average price for good goats for the last year, $65, x the heaviest weight, 80 is also about $50.

    A milk goat is worth more than a goat for slaughter, otherwise the farmer would sell.

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  2. yesteray says:

    Any support for the notion that, “this probably was not a very good goat.” This goat is much more able to survive and produce meat, milk and offspring that the “good” US goat.

    The prices you quote are goats for slaughter, per hundredweight, and the table notes that these are 40-80 pound goats. So the average price for good goats for the last year, $65, x the heaviest weight, 80 is also about $50.

    A milk goat is worth more than a goat for slaughter, otherwise the farmer would sell.

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  3. will says:

    I’m not sure PETA representatives would feel this was a reasonable solution. I don’t envy the goat’s future…

    yesteray makes valid points about the value of the goat, but doesn’t account for the likely radical difference in goat valuation from San Angelo, TX (where the US prices are from) and those in Sudan.

    Also ignored is although none of us have any good idea what a goat in Sudan is valued at the elders and Mr Alifi have an excellent estimate of that value. I’m sure that estimate was used in calculating Mr Tombe’s “dowry”.

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  4. will says:

    I’m not sure PETA representatives would feel this was a reasonable solution. I don’t envy the goat’s future…

    yesteray makes valid points about the value of the goat, but doesn’t account for the likely radical difference in goat valuation from San Angelo, TX (where the US prices are from) and those in Sudan.

    Also ignored is although none of us have any good idea what a goat in Sudan is valued at the elders and Mr Alifi have an excellent estimate of that value. I’m sure that estimate was used in calculating Mr Tombe’s “dowry”.

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  5. PSD says:

    No matter how you slice it, $50 has to be considered a good deal for a wife.

    The savings on the engagement ring alone are lucrative. Even divorce seems financially risk-free, since I doubt his wife will want half.

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  6. PSD says:

    No matter how you slice it, $50 has to be considered a good deal for a wife.

    The savings on the engagement ring alone are lucrative. Even divorce seems financially risk-free, since I doubt his wife will want half.

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  7. Monkeydarts says:

    Not a very good goat?
    Mr. Tombe said the goat wasn’t baaahhhhd.

    Sorry. Somebody had to do it.

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  8. Monkeydarts says:

    Not a very good goat?
    Mr. Tombe said the goat wasn’t baaahhhhd.

    Sorry. Somebody had to do it.

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