[ad#125-right]The City of Trail closed down discussions of allowing pygmy goats within the residential areas of the City when council voted against changing the Animal Control Bylaw – (which look remarkably similar to the City of Castlegar’s  hmmm) in response to a request by a resident, Ms Marion Schramm. Only councilor Gord De Rosa voted in favour of the proposal, which would have required an amendment to the bylaw, which would have permitted goats to be kept, (in accordance with the rules set out in such a bylaw), throughout town.

Pygmy goats at Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo

A memo to council from the Corporate Administrator states that, “Staff do not consider the animals appropriate in an urban nieghbourhood due to potential concersn that could be raised by neighbouring properties and recommend that the bylaw remain unchanged”. In Castlegar, when I rasied this same question, the Castlegar Current ran an impromptu vox pop on this topic – with five out of five respondants stating they would be in favour of allowing goats in the City of Castlegar.

Why This Matters

The current economic crisis is not a figment of the imagination – the big box stores that are closing across North America are the first of many, the first only because they were the most stretched out on the transportation and supply line so reliant on cheap oil and a large population with disposable income. Neither the cheap oil or disposable income are going to stick around, we are nearing the end of what some commentators describe as the greatest mis-allocation of resources the world has seen.

Food supplies are one of the obvious areas of concern for populations with less oil and less money of value. Bananas from Mexico to BC in the middle of winter is not likely to be a reality for many more years. Even food products that are currently considered “local” can be from hundreds of miles away, with no economical way to transport these goods, it won’t seem so local.

What does this all have to do with a resident’s request to keep two miniature goats in the City of Trail? Simply that an opportunity to relax a bylaw that is intended to protect the public from harmful or disturbing animals goes against fundamental sustainability principals of local food supply (how about chickens Trail?) and organic gardening and farming (the manure, weed control and waste food management abilities of goats are infamous – and the milk and meat are quite popular too).

Goats aren’t for everyone, just as dogs or cats aren’t – problem being that dogs and cats just are not as useful in the garden or on an urban farm than a goat or two.

For more information, see my page of articles about Chickens and Goats and the battle to see these animals once again in backyards throughout the Kootenays.

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Published by Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada.

5 replies on “City of Trail Reject Goats”

  1. Check out the very active Kamloops Urban Chickens campaign in full action right now. Exactly the same issue. Those conservative city folk may need a little time to rethink what they are objecting too, but I think it will happen. One place to see what is happening here is at this page:
    http://www.campusclimatenetwork.org/wiki/Urban_Hen_Movement –Then look at “The Pilot Project” on that page. The people with the goats might gain some inspiration, at the least.

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