Saluda to allow goats for kudzu eradication

Published 1:59 pm Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The City of Saluda plans to amend its animal control ordinance next month to allow the Saluda Community Land Trust (SCLT) to place goats at the city’s wastewater treatment plant to eradicate kudzu.

Saluda City Council met Monday, May 13 and approved allowing the goats for two years and agreed to amend the ordinance next month.

Nora Parks, with the SCLT said the organization recently received a grant from the Polk County Community Foundation for kudzu eradication.

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Parks asked city commissioners to provide electricity from the plant for an electric fence. She said SCLT would be responsible for feeding and watering a guard dog within the fence to protect the goats from wildlife.

Parks said SCLT is contracting with Wells Farm with 10 to 12 goats planned to be placed on approximately one acre. She said the goats will need to come twice per year with an estimated two to three weeks each to clear the kudzu.

The city has an ordinance against livestock within city limits, but city attorney Bailey Nager said an amendment could be made to allow goats short-term specifically for kudzu removal. SCLT’s Betsy Burdett asked that the ordinance amendment state that goats be allowed for invasive species for other eradications in the future.

The Town of Tryon faced a similar situation a few years ago when it wanted to place goats on an approximate one-acre town along Carolina Drive adjacent to the IGA. Tryon also had to amend its animal control ordinance to allow for short-term goats for kudzu eradication.

Parks said the earliest the goats could arrive is late June or early July and hopes are that they would return in the fall then again next year with the funding.