NEWTON, Kan. (KAKE) - The City of Newton says the nearly 200 goats hired to clear brush on industrial land were being removed Friday due to the city's animal control ordinance. 

"Newton City Code prohibits the harboring of livestock such as goats. City maintenance staff thought of the goats as a short-term contracted service rather than long-term residents, but City legal staff have advised that is not an exception to code," the city said. 

City staff were directed to work with Restoration Grazing to remove the goats as soon as possible. They were originally expected to remain until the end of the month.

"We tried this with the best intentions on a property in a non-residential setting,” said City Manager Daniela Rivas. “We wanted to get the job done in a better way and save some taxpayer dollars. We’re so sorry we put the cart before the goat.”

In the future, Newton may look at adding a provision to the animal control ordinance to allow for grazing.

Previous reports:

Not many people can say they've made a career out of something as cute as a goat, but that's exactly what Restoration Grazing owner Rex Rutledge did, and he has hundreds of them.

"The goats are perfect for this sort of work. You know, this is kind of an ancient technique that's been used for hundreds of thousands of years to maintain land," Rutledge said.

Rutledge takes his goats all across the state, where people hire them for one purpose – to eat away overgrown land.

"If you got an area that your kids play in that's overgrown, you wouldn't want to spray chemicals on it. So put some goats out there, and they'll eat it down for you chemical-free. And they're fun. They're just a much more entertaining way to take care of your property management," said Rutledge.

The latest job for the nearly 200 goats is to eat away 24 acres of overgrown city-owned land near 12th and Hillside in Newton, which will take until the end of April.

"This part of the world was shaped by large ruminants moving across the landscape. And so I feel pretty passionate about educating people about what the goats do," said Rutledge.

Rutledge says the goats can do jobs as small as just spending a day in your backyard, or spending months on big chunks of land. Click here for more information.

The City of Newton has hired nearly 200 yearling goats to clear saplings and brush from 24 acres of industrial land.

The city said the goats from Restoration Grazing are clearing city-owned land in the Kansas Logistics Park that is optioned by K&O Railroad. 

"City Parks staff have burned the area every couple of years to control the growth but hope the goats may be more effective in keeping down saplings," the city said in a release. "The goats are a more eco-friendly option than using heavy equipment and may also be more cost-effective."

The city paid Restoration Grazing $2,000 to use the goats through the end of April. A portable electric fence has been place to keep the goats in and predators out. 

"Residents are welcome to come out to see the goats but shouldn’t try to enter the area or pet them," the release said.

The city said the goats could be used on other city property in the future. Wichita has previously hired Restoration Grazing for several projects.