View Royal considers goats to clear invasive species

Council has no appetite for goats to be used in urban areas

Goats clearing invasive species won’t be seen or herded in View Royal following a decision at the March 8 council meeting.

Mayor David Screech said the idea came up for discussion after a request by a View Royal housing co-op that was interested in utilizing Goats on the Hoof, which uses goats to clear invasive species.

Screech said council decided not to permit it because it contravened existing bylaws. “It sounds like a good idea in some ways,” Screech said. “In the end we didn’t think it was a suitable use in an urban area. I don’t think you can teach goats how to be selective about what they eat.”

Allan Iwanyshyn, owner of Goats on the Hoof, said he was disappointed by the decision, adding that View Royal staff had earlier indicated council was “intrigued” by the idea.

He said using goats to get rid of problem vegetation is an environmentally friendly alternative to using machinery. His company has been in operation for three years and has done work in urban and residential areas, including Nanaimo, Qualicum, Parksville and Lantzville.

Iwanyshyn said Goats on the Hoof, which is affiliated with Rent-A-Ruminant based in Washington State, is eager to do work in the Capital Region. For more information go to