Columbus amends animal control rules to allow goats for clearing kudzu

Published 2:42 pm Wednesday, September 23, 2009

ended its animal control ordinance last week to include provisions to allow goats for the purpose of eradicating kudzu.

Columbus Town Council last Thursday heard from 4-H director John Vining, who described plans to use goats to eradicate kudzu on 4-H property in Columbus.

Vining described the environmentally friendly option of using goats to eat the kudzu and reviewed a recent project on Town of Tryon property with the use of goats. Vining said research shows that it takes about three years to completely kill the kudzu and the goats will be on the property for about four to six weeks at a time.

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Council unanimously approved an addition to the town&39;s animal control ordinance section 91.25 that deals with the keeping of livestock. The towns ordinance formerly prohibited the keeping of livestock, including cows, horse, pony, mule, sheep, goat, chickens, guinea, poultry or any other livestock within the town limits. The amendment now allows the temporary keeping of goats for kudzu control. Council also added that a fence is required to keep the goats.

Council approved a $5 permit fee to track who is keeping goats for kudzu control purposes.

Vining said there&squo;s about 3/4 of an acre at the 4-H property on Locust Street that is in need of kudzu eradication. He said the 4-H center will bear the costs of renting the goats, which is about $700 per session, including a $600 goat rental and a $100 fee to set up the electric fence used to contain the goats.

Vining said the project in Tryon worked well the first year, but more would be needed to permanently eradicate the kudzu on the town&squo;s property beside the IGA. Vining said the biggest issue with keeping the goats is keeping dogs out. He said Tryon&squo;s project lost two goats to dogs that got in the fence.

Vining estimates the 4-H property will need approximately eight goats.