Ordinance stops goats from eliminating weeds in Detroit

18 goats stopped by city ordinance

DETROIT - The idea of using goats to deal with the tall grass and overgrown weeds growing around the abandoned buildings in Detroit has been tossed around for a long time. Now, courtesy of billionaire businessman Mark Spitznagle, some goats have arrived.

But not everyone in Detroit is happy about the news.

The goats were supposed to have 100 days to clear a portion of a block in Brightmoor, but because of a city ordinance, that plan fell through.

"These are very small animals here. They would have grown and probably doubled or tripled in size," said Brightmoor Alliance chair Dennis Talbert. "And their capacity to eat would have doubled or tripled."

Many of the locals were being hired and trained as goat herders.

"I was looking forward to actually making some extra money doing this," said Javon Ellis. "I didn't see nothing wrong with it, but the city has its own laws and codes, so you've got to abide by them."

The 18 goats have been ready since about 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, and now their time is up because of the city ordinance.

"Section 6.1.3 that says it's unlawful to own, harbor, keep, maintain, sell or transfer farm or wild animals," Talbert said.

Members of Idyll Farms say that they aren't angry but just want to talk with the city to see if they can change that ordinance and try again next year.

Copyright 2014 by ClickOnDetroit.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.