Controlled Livestock Grazing Policy

The City of Asbury’s Controlled Livestock Grazing Policy governs the use of goats for a limited duration to clear vegetation from land.  This targeted grazing is becoming increasingly useful as an environmentally-sensitive alternative to chemical herbicides and mechanical methods of clearing land, especially in areas with difficult geography, or where invasive species have become an issue. 

The City of Asbury Code of Ordinances prohibits owning or keeping livestock within the City of Asbury in residential and commercial zoning districts.  The Controlled Livestock Grazing Policy is a limited exception that allows goats to remain in the City on a temporary basis, for no more than thirty days and no more than once annually, on a specific property, for the sole purpose of clearing vegetation on land, provided that the contractor obtains the proper permitting and other requirements of the Controlled Livestock Grazing Policy.

1. Purpose of controlled livestock grazing.

Controlled livestock grazing is allowed within the City of Asbury for a period thirty days or less at one time to manage appropriate areas of natural vegetation.  Controlled livestock grazing must comply with City of Asbury Code of Ordinances section 55.17 and any other applicable local, state or federal laws and the rules of the Policy as stated in this document. 

Goats eat undesirable and desirable vegetation.  Generally, goat grazing is only appropriate on sites where the entire area being served is dominated by invasive species, or where the geography of the property makes other means of vegetative management prohibitive.  The property owner and Contractor must ensure that the animals do not eat protected vegetation and are properly confined and cared for at all times. 

2. Permit required.

A Controlled Livestock Grazing Permit must be obtained from the City of Asbury prior to introducing livestock to a property.  The permit application must be submitted by the Contractor (owner of the animals).  The cost of the permit, which is valid for one calendar year is $300.

Grazing Contractors should complete the Controlled Grazing permit application.    Permit application must be completed at least seven days prior to the desired start date of controlled grazing.  The permit is valid for one year.    In addition, a property contact information notice should be completed for each property the Contractor is servicing at least 48 hours prior to beginning work at that property. 

The property contact information notice must include property address, owner name and contact information, and a basic site plan which notes where the animals will be working. For questions, please contact the City of Asbury at 563-556-7106. 

3.  Allowed animals for controlled grazing.

Only goats may be used for controlled grazing within city limits.  Only females and castrated males may be used.  Number of animals should be determined based on the area being serviced.

4.  Allowed property for use.

Controlled livestock grazing may be used to manage vegetation on specific public or private property when a permit is obtained by the contractor.  All applicable sections of the City of Asbury Code of Ordinances and the Controlled Livestock Grazing Policy must be complied with at all times when the animals are located on the property. 

5.  Insurance and bond requirements.

Insurance requirements for Controlled Livestock Grazing will be negotiated and determined by the Contractor and the owner of the property on which the livestock will graze.  The City will not obtain, require, or provide insurance on behalf of any Controlled Livestock Grazing Contractors or owners of property upon which controlled livestock grazing occurs.

However, if the livestock will graze areas within the public right of way, the Contractor must obtain from the City a permit to work within the public right of way and comply with all requirements, including insurance requirements contained in that permit application. 

The Contractor must file a Surety Bond in the amount of five thousand dollars ($5,000) with the City of Asbury in order to provide service within city limits.

6.  Maximum days to be utilized on a property.

Animals used for controlled livestock grazing may not remain on the property for more than thirty (30) consecutive days.  A controlled livestock grazing permit will only be granted for a property once during any twelve-month period.

7.  Proper care for the animals while they are grazing.

All controlled grazing must be carried out in accordance with best animal husbandry practices and all state and local laws related to animal care.  All animals must be healthy, well-nourished, properly hydrated, and free of internal and external parasites.

The Contractor or other qualified individual must visit the animals at least once every 24 hours to ensure the animals are appropriately confined, hydrated, fed, sheltered, and completing the desired task.

8.  Proper containment of animals on property.

City of Asbury Code of Ordinances sets forth fencing regulations within City limits.  Temporary exemptions (for the time period specified on the approved permit) exist for the Controlled Livestock Grazing Policy.  Temporary fences for the containment of grazing animals must be at least 3 feet in height and should be checked regularly. Gaps in fences must be small enough so that animals may not escape the property or become stuck.  Temporary electric fences used to pen grazing animals are allowed.  These fences must be posted at 15 foot intervals with warning signs notifying the public of the presence of a dangerous fence.  Signs must contain Contractor business name and phone number.  Temporary fencing must be removed when animals are not present on the property.

9.  Noise regulations.

Noise, nuisance and other City ordinances apply to controlled grazing livestock operations and may be enforced, even during permitted grazing periods.   Verified complaints regarding noise, nuisance, or other code violations may result in the revocation of your Controlled Livestock Grazing permit, denial of future permit applications, municipal infractions, or other consequences.

Goats will generally remain quiet if they are content and well cared for. However, they will vocalize loudly in certain situations, such as when they are hungry, thirsty, injured, sick, or feel threatened.  Proper care for animals can minimize noise disturbances

10.  Neighbor notification is not required.

Notification of neighbors prior to controlled grazing is not required, but is encouraged.  Signage identifying the Contractor business name and contact phone number must be posted on the grazing site.