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Rent-a-Goat: Medford changes ordinance to allow for grazing goats

Some Medford landowners will be able to trade a gardener for a hungry goat. Thursday night, the Medford City Council voted to update its no livestock in city limits ordinance to allow for goats to eat vegetation.

Posted: Jun 20, 2019 11:28 PM
Updated: Jun 20, 2019 11:28 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- Some Medford landowners will be able to trade a gardener for a hungry goat. Thursday night, the Medford City Council voted to update its no livestock in city limits ordinance to allow for goats to eat vegetation.

"I think that using goats for weed abatement is a good suggestion and hopefully it will work out well for the city," said City Councilmember and Vice President Clay Bearnson.

Goat owners in nearby cities and towns can get a $100 business license in Medford to rent out their goats to larger properties and lots full of grass and weeds in the city.

"People can now call them up just like you would a lawn mowing service," said Medford City Attorney Lori Cooper.

Before changing the ordinance, the City Council looked at how other cities have allowed goat grazing. It also listened to proposals about how goats can help cut down on fire risk. Bearnson said this new change can help landowners when the tall grass ordinance comes around every year before fire season.

"I think it would help them out immensely, especially people who have larger parcels of land and don't necessarily have the means or resources to maintain it," Bearnson added. "Maybe it'll be a whole lot more affordable option to hire someone who has goats to come in there and take the weeds down."

You can't hire the goats to chew on your front or back lawns. This ordinance also comes with a time limit. Goats can only be on a property for 21 days. The ordinance goes into effect immediately.

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