The Shire is in the process of developing a strategy to reduce the incidence of straying stock. Wandering stock give rise to complaints from property owners, vehicle drivers and the Police and present a significant threat to road safety throughout the Shire.
If the owner of livestock:
- permits the livestock to stray;
- permits the livestock to be at large;
- tethers the livestock; or
- depastures the livestock
in a street or other public place he/she commits an offence. Penalty: $100 per head.
If livestock are found straying or at large, or tethered, or depastured, in a street or other public place, the owner of the livestock is regarded as having permitted the cattle to so stray or to be at large or to have so tethered or depastured the cattle.
If the owner of the cattle cannot be found, the person in charge or apparently in charge of the cattle is regarded as the owner.
In proceedings relating to an offence, a positive statement in the complaint (i.e. the charge laid by the Shire) that a person is the owner, or person in charge or apparently in charge, of the cattle in respect of which the complaint is made, is regarded as proved in the absence of proof to the contrary.
Rural property owners should safeguard their liability in this regard and ensure that boundary fences are in sound condition and gates locked to avoid prosecution or liability for damage to vehicles from accidents with straying livestock.
A person who neglects to keep in repair a fence or gate separating the land owned or occupied by him from a road commits an offence.