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Keeping our rural roads safe

10 Mar 2016

The safety of people travelling on rural roads is very important. One of the purposes of the Land Transport Bylaw is to establish rules about the movement of stock on roads. Our aim is to ensure that potential danger and inconvenience to other road users is minimised, and to protect the road network.

Council’s Public Places Bylaw requires that people have adequate control of their stock when in a public place, and give consideration for other people using that place. It also requires that owners prevent stock from wandering or being at large.

WDC has had an increase in the number of complaints from concerned residents about cattle, horses, sheep and other stock making their way out onto rural roads and private property.

We are seeking cooperation of owners to ensure the management and keeping of stock complies with the rules contained in Council’s Bylaws.

It is the responsibility of every owner of stock to ensure the animals are adequately confined and do not wander or gain access onto public property. 

The owner of stock is responsible for public safety or any damage to public or private property, or injury of stock, which may arise from roaming stock.

Owners of wandering stock can face criminal liability under the Crimes Act 1961 (sections 156 and 157). If a land owner or occupier fails to take necessary steps to ensure their livestock remain adequately fenced in, they will be at risk of endangering the safety or health of the public (especially road users). If their stock causes a crash and negligence is proven, they may be prosecuted.

Wandering stock may be impounded by Animal Control Officers and all costs associated with the impounding (officer time, transportation and sustenance) are recovered from the owner. If the stock is not claimed, it may be disposed of in accordance with the Impounding Act 1955.

Click here to view Council’s Land Transport Bylaw and Public Places Bylaw.

Enquiries regarding animals and stock on roads can be made by phoning 0800 932 4357, or email [email protected]