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The British Military Employs Nine Animals

Lance Corporal Cruachan IV reports for duty. Despite being a Shetland pony.

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The British military employs nine animals to carry out official duties using public money, according to a statement given to parliament.

Anwar Hussein / EMPICS Entertainment

The animals, which include goats such as Lance Corporal Shenkin III of the Royal Welsh, are provided with rations and official ranks in the army.

"Official military animal mascots are a long-standing tradition in our armed forces and carry out ceremonial roles and duties," minister Mark Lancaster solemnly explained. "There are a total of nine publicly funded official mascots in the armed forces, all of which are attached to the army."

The details were disclosed following a request from Labour MP Andrew Gwynne.

Animals listed in the pay of the army include Fusilier George, representing the Royal Fusiliers.

Instagram: @the_fusiliers

According to the government, the regiment traditionally employed an Indian black buck as their mascot but unfortunately this "is now an endangered species".

As a result they have had to employ a British otterhound as a stand-in mascot.

"He holds the rank of fusilier and is fed dog food," the government confirmed.

This is Pegasus, a Shetland pony, who is the Parachute Regiment's mascot.

Fiona Hanson / PA Archive/Press Association Images

It is paid in "pasture forage and concentrate", according to the official statement.

This is Lance Corporal Cruachan IV, another Shetland pony who is mascot of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

Andrew Milligan / PA Archive/Press Association Images

It is paid in "pasture forage and concentrate", according to the official statement.

Talavera the drum horse represents the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards but holds no official rank.

Andrew Milligan / PA Archive/Press Association Images

Unsurprisingly it is also paid in "pasture forage and concentrate", according to the official statement.

Irish wolfhound Domhnall of Shantamon is the mascot of the Irish Guards.

Steve Parsons / PA Archive/Press Association Images

It is paid by the government in rations of "dog food".

This is Lance Corporal Derby XXX, a Swaledale ram employed as mascot of the Mercian Regiment.

The Mercian Regiment

Sadly, since the government collated its list of official animals Derby XXX has died.

"He did an excellent job and it proves it with getting promoted in September, that was for his good behaviour," the regiment said in a statement.

Two other animals are not pictured but are employed by the military according to the government: drum horse Alamein of the Queen's Royal Hussars and a Kashmiri goat called Fusilier Llywelyn representing the 1st battalion of the Royal Welsh.

And that is all the animals employed by the British military, according to the government.

So now you know.

Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Jim Waterson at jim.waterson@buzzfeed.com.

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