A Move to Legalize Goats in Albany

A petition seeks to change city code regulating the keeping of backyard goats. Berkeley already allows residents to keep two female goats. Should Albany adopt the same standard?

A petition asking the Albany City Council to remove a ban on keeping backyard goats has gathered 70 signatures in seven days. The city’s current code allows for goats to be temporarily employed as weed eaters, but the authors of the petition want to make it possible for Albany residents to keep female or castrated goats for milk or as pets.

According to the petition, goats make good neighbors:

“Female goats and wethers (castrated males) do not carry the typical "goaty" aroma, and de-horned, they are completely harmless. Like dogs they are social animals and have a gentle disposition. Unlike dogs, they don't bite. Also, they are quieter than hens.”

If the city council were to change the municipal code, Albany would not be the only East Bay town permitting residents to raise goats. Just as Berkeley’s rules provide greater freedom than Albany in raising backyard chickens, Berkeley allows residents to keep two female goats. El Cerrito permits goats on properties of 10,000 square feet or more.

The petition doesn’t specify how many goats Albany should allow, but it does claim that two miniature goats can produce all the milk a family needs.


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