Goat Yoga Is Illegal and Isn’t Coming to Bushwick Anymore

Evan Haddad


In a remarkable turn of events, the highly publicized goat yoga pop-up studio is not coming to Bushwick after all.

Although NY Goat Yoga was slated to begin tomorrow and tickets were sold, organizers have cancelled the event due to legal complications involved with exhibiting wild animals, Bushwick Daily has learned.

A tipster who had registered for a class forwarded us an email from Gilbertsville Farmhouse, which was organizing the event and bringing the goats from Upstate New York for a two-month stay in Bushwick.  

“Goat Yoga is something new to NYC and therefore uncharted territory when it comes to the permit application…Initially we were very optimistic.  The health department was intrigued and receptive to the idea,” the email said.   

“However, after weeks of communication and brainstorming, we feel that the concept of goat yoga is just not possible within the laws of the city at this time  If we moved forward, the classes would be a disappointment to our customers and would not be anything remotely close to a goat yoga experience.”

In New York City, a permit is required for the exhibition or use of any animal for commercial purposes, according to the NYC Health Department. This includes animals used in theatrical performances, circuses, demonstrations by wildlife rehabilitators…and yoga classes, apparently.

Animals can be used in an exhibition if a set of strict conditions are met, including direct control of the animals by supervised handlers and no public contact. But that means no doggie-diaper-wearing baby goats nibbling your your ear or roosting atop your back, which was the inherent appeal of goat yoga in the first place.

The controversy doesn’t end there, however. Gilbertsville Farmhouse was selling tickets to the event before they had even booked the space.

The owner of the building at 74 Ingraham St. — where organizers said the goat yoga studio was to be held for two months — told us that “the goat yoga people never booked our space at all…We’ve been very confused by them as well.”

“We didn’t even get a message about the cancelation…But I guess they figure since they didn’t book why inform us!” the owner said. “We were wondering what tomorrow was going to be like since we saw it still listed on their Facebook early this morning.”

So that’s the end of the story, Bushwick. We’re never going to write the words “goat yoga” ever again. We promise.

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Cover image courtesy of Gilbertsville Farmhouse

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