A mob of wild goats is causing chaos in a small South Island town.

A gang of 16 goats is destroying gardens and roaming the streets in Blackball, population 330, 29km northeast of Greymouth.

Grey District Council animal control Murray Malloch said the goats hide at night and then congregate to walk through town during the day.

"They just come through and wreck everyone's garden," Mr Malloch. "They eat it and then move on to another one. Everyone said they're lovely goats though."


He said he's concerned the herd will cause a car crash after a near miss last weekend.

The goats are believed to have been around for a couple of years, but have been breeding and are now causing problems.

Mr Malloch said the goats have two weeks to be claimed before they're "taken care of".

"A local said he'll go get them for meat, but we're not sure if they're someone's pets," he said.

"Either someone has to put their hand up or I'll put it in the hands of a couple of local guys that are shooters. If they come on to their properties they'll eliminate them -- they'll shoot them."