Wandering Stock on Roads

Published: 27-Jul-2017

Recent crashes involving stock have highlighted the need for farmers and lifestyle block holders to check and double-check their fences and gates.

20170727_WanderingStockOnRoads_ThumbComing across a cow or a horse on a road at any time can be a frightening and potentially fatal experience for drivers and in the dark of night even more so.

Recent crashes involving stock have highlighted the need for farmers and lifestyle block holders to check and double-check their fences and gates.

Council Road Safety Co-ordinator Kathy Graham says there are on average around 15 reports to Council of wandering stock on the roads each month in the Waimakariri district.  These have ranged from large mobs of sheep and cattle to individual cows or horses.

“Stock on the roads can result in vehicle occupants being injured or worse, or the animals are hurt or killed.  Obviously none of these outcomes are good.”

Weather conditions can increase the likelihood of stock wandering – either through being able to push through or over damaged fences and/or gates in search of better pasture.

“With further rain and snow in the forecast over the next few days we would like to remind land-owners to check that their boundary fences are in good condition, that electric fences have good pulse rates and gates are secure”, Kathy says. 

“If you are visiting friends or family on a farm or lifestyle block, please remember to close gates behind you and secure them properly”.

If you see stock unsecured on the road please contact the Council immediately on 0800 965 468 (0800 WMK GOV) and if you are able try and locate the owner of the stock at nearby properties.

To ensure traffic safety, minimise damage to public land and help animal owners, Animal Control will remove animals from public roads and areas.

Stock wandering onto privately-owned land can be notified to Animal Control to allow them to be matched up with lost stock.

Stock wandering onto public land or roads may be impounded. If impounded, the animal owner will be liable for impounding fees, sustenance costs and any cartage. The Impounding Act 1955 is the legislation covering impounded stock.

Stock owners are liable for any damage caused by their stock wandering onto the road if the presence of the stock on the road is caused by the owner's negligence.

For further information on stock control visit:

https://www.waimakariri.govt.nz/services/dogs-and-animal-control

In the last five years in the Waimakariri District there have been 16 reported crashes involving wandering stock, including three crashes that resulted in serious injury.  Nationally there have been 7 fatalities from crashes involving wandering stock.