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East Lansing considers whether to allow goats and ducks

Posted at 5:14 PM, Jan 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-26 17:18:04-05

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The East Lansing City Council is considering whether to allow residents to keep goats and ducks.

Currently, East Lansing allows up to four cats or dogs, and up to four chickens with a permit. Planning and Zoning Administrator Peter Menser said, if an ordinance to allow goats and ducks were to move forward, a public hearing would be scheduled to gather community input.

East Lansing Mayor Ron Bacon said, he is skeptical “of just with the way our spacing and generally our neighborhoods are laid out, and some of the tight quarters and the other conversations that we have around neighbor relations even. I don't want to create a new situation that's creating any undue interaction amongst neighbors or unfriendly interactions or that kind of thing.”

Meanwhile, Jennie Grant, the founder of the Goat Justice League, said that goats can blend harmoniously into urban neighborhoods.

“The goats just follow right along with me. And I can't tell you how many people just say, ‘I'm so happy to see your goats. It made my day.’ They seem to bring joy to people,” Grant said.

Jennie Grant's goats
Jennie Grant's goats

Grant is the owner of two goats. In Seattle, goats are allowed because she advocated for them.

“There have been goats that are too loud and then certain breeds that are noisier, but there's certain just individuals who are noisier.” So, it's kind of like there are some dogs, you do not want to have living next to you…So kind of another tricky thing, right? Just because some goats are loud you don't want to ban all goats.”

Bacon said he is open to the idea.

“We sent it back to get some more interpretation around what that would mean for local livestock inside of our neighborhoods and communities. How much square footage would you need, what type of fencing you know, everything, odor, noise, just kind of every consideration and verse in the back to staff, and we're going to get a little bit more expert opinion on it. But it's an interesting thing to have a conversation around it,” Bacon said.

East Lansing resident Sarah Carson is excited about the possibility.

“I have a four-year-old daughter and we went to a petting zoo… and it was just so fun. And my daughter loved them so much that I literally I considered getting one as a pet in our backyard. And so, when I came home, I looked up the ordinance in East Lansing and saw that it wasn't allowed yet. So, when I saw that they were considering it changing the law. I was really excited to see that,” Carson said.

According to Grant, goats in Seattle can’t have horns and male goats have to be neutered to minimize noise.

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