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City goats are a menace

By their nature, goats are full of mischief, but the urban one takes this to a whole different level.

If you blink twice, your vegetables end up as part of the cud. It’s a constant battle of wits between the Mama Mboga and the wily creatures.

They will ignore her and act uninterested but as soon as she looks away, a bunch of sukumawiki is gone. She will chase away the animal but they never go far. They prefer staying in the vicinity of their hunting ground.

According to Rose Nduta, a fresh produce seller in Amboseli estate near Kawangware, elevating the kiosk doesn’t work.

The sly animals are born with a natural ability to stand on their hind legs. So, who owns the goats and cows that move around the estates in herds?

Most have no idea but will caution you that the minute you maim one or hit it with a car, then the owners materialise out of thin air.

“Most are owned by people who have their own homesteads. But have no space to house them and prefer to let them loose on the streets. That way, they don’t even have to feed them,” says Nduta.

Animal Control by-laws

While goats are the most common, cows and sheep are also to be found in many estates. Other areas have pigs, chicken, geese, and ducks that roam the streets generally making life miserable for those they encounter.

However, according to the 2009 Animal Control by-laws, these animals are considered to be “at large”, which makes them fair game for the Animal Control Officer.

If an animal is seized, it is taken to the County government compound where it has to be reclaimed within 96 hours by the owner. And getting it back does not come cheap.

The Nairobi County Finance Act, 2013 says that you will part with Sh1,000 to get your cow or pig back. A goat or sheep will cost you Sh600. Birds are not spared either with a chicken costing you Sh300.

In addition, you will also pay Sh1,500 for the cost incurred in transporting the animal to the pound for a cow and Sh500 for a goat.