British Columbia

Goats turned loose on Chilliwack's destructive Japanese Knotweed

About 30 goats were set free to go chomp down on the City of Chilliwack's Japanese Knotweed — an invasive plant that even pesticides have a hard time killing.

City of Chilliwack hired a herd of goats to get rid of invasive knotweed

Goats tackle invasive Japanese Knotweed in Chilliwack, B.C. (Conrad Lindblom/Rocky Ridge Vegetation Control)

About 30 goats were set free to go chomp down on the City of Chilliwack's Japanese Knotweed — an invasive plant that even herbicides have a hard time killing. 

Conrad Lindblom owns and operates the Rocky Ridge Vegetation Control in Kamloops and travelled with his goats as part of the city's pilot project to see if the animals can take a bite out of its invasive plants problem. 

"They really went for it and chewed it down really well," said Lindblom, who has been using goats to eat weeds for almost two decades. 

Goats have been used to manage weeds in other cities before. Amazon even rents out goat grazers.

Goats have been used before to take out invasive plants but the practice is still fairly new in Canada. (Conrad Lindblom/ Rocky Ridge Vegetation Control)

Lindblom said some goat breeds are better than others, but it comes down to how they're handled. 

"It's the way we manage them. We go into grasslands and they go after invasive plants, and they leave the native plants alone," he said. 

Next, he will be travelling to Cranbrook to unleash 350 goats to tackle invasive plants there and help restore the area's native plants. 

Lindblom said it takes more than one grazing to uproot all the weeds, usually the goats need to come back for a mow-down three years in a row. 

With files from the CBC's The Early Edition and Christine Coulter. 


To hear the full story listen to the audio labelled: Goats gnaw on destructive Japanese Knotweed

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