Questions about the wellbeing of the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank goat herd were raised at a meeting this week between land bank staff, Island animal control officers and the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society.

The meeting at the Agricultural Hall Tuesday was prompted by concerns from West Tisbury animal control officer Kate Hoffman, who said she considers some of the herd management practices to be out of line with state animal welfare regulations.

The land bank has been herding goats since 2013 in order to manage the vegetation on its properties. Several officials felt Ms. Hoffman’s concerns about the 150 goats were unfounded or overblown.

Ms. Hoffman worried the herd did not have consistent access to water and lacked shelter, among other things.

“We’ve gotten multiple complaints over the years,” Ms. Hoffman said. When responding to a recent complaint, Ms. Hoffman said she found the goats to be without water in their field on a hot day. “It was tough to see,” she said. “I saw a baby pee in a bucket, and I saw another baby drink it.”

Following that visit, Ms. Hoffman said she informally consulted with an employee at the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, who works with the state to help protect animal welfare. Ms. Hoffman said she was told that the herd requires a three-sided shelter for protection from inclement weather while grazing, something the land bank lacked.

The goats are moved between various land bank properties across the Island throughout the year.

During Tuesday’s meeting, which lasted more than two hours, none of the other Island animal control officers expressed concern about the Land Bank goats’ welfare.

Erin Masur, a veterinarian who works with the land bank, testified to the health of the heard, adding that she felt the discussion on the goats should not be narrowed to simply following the letter of the regulation.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate to say the specific regulations being applied work as a term of judgment for welfare in the situation,” she said.

Zachary Jessee manages the goat herd and said he consulted Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources animal welfare director Mike Cahill, whose organization oversees MSPCA’s state-level efforts.

According to Mr. Cahill, Mr. Jessee said, the state only mandates “proper shelter,” leaving the judgment of what that consists of up to the animal control officer’s discretion.

Julie Russell, the land bank ecologist who oversees the goat program, criticized Ms. Hoffman’s handling of the issue.

“When I got the call, I immediately rectified [the water], just like when I get a phone call from anyone here,” she said. “I thought we had communicated, but the next communication I got was that you had communicated to MDAR and MSPCA.”

Mr. Jessee added that he had been making an effort to avoid overwatering the goats, for fear of spreading parasitic worms. The breed, he said, had been selected for its heat-hardiness and the goats are sometimes provided with portable trailers as temporary shelter. They do not always use them, as the inaccessible conditions of some properties makes it unfeasible to bring in the trailers.

Brian Athearn, president of the Agricultural Society, attributed the high volume of animal control officer calls concerning the goats to their high visibility on public property, and low public awareness of farming methods.

“They’re [the complainers] crawling up your drawers is what it is,” he said, adding that not all complaints made to the animal control officers are legitimate. “There are also problem complainers.”

Chilmark animal control officer Chris Murphy encouraged continued communication in order to prevent any further issues.

“What’s important…is that the land bank and whoever is in charge of the animals, the communication center knows where to get a hold of them 24 hours a day,” he said. “I don’t see it as a problem at all. I think the land bank, their goat project works just fine.”

The group at Tuesday’s meeting made plans to reconvene on the issue in September.