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Canterbury rural property owners urged to check fences to keep stock and road users safe and secure


The NZ Transport Agency is reminding property owners of their responsibility to keep farm animals safely fenced.

The Transport Agency’s Canterbury Journey Manager Lee Wright says wandering stock pose serious safety risks to all road users, not only on the state highway network, but also on local roads.

In the latest three months - November 2018 to 21 January, 2019, there have been 65 incidents of wandering stock reported on state highway roads across central and north Canterbury*, with 17 of these on State Highway 75, the busy road to Akaroa/ Banks Peninsula.

Cow on a Banks Peninsula highway

Cow on a Banks Peninsula highway


Cow on the Inland road, Route 70, to Kaikōura a year ago

Cow on the Inland road, Route 70, to Kaikōura a year ago

'When animals are wandering on highways, they present a significant hazard for anyone driving and there is the potential for serious injury, and even fatal crashes as a result,' she says.

Rural property owners are liable for any damage caused by their animals and if they cause a crash and negligence is proven, the livestock owner may be prosecuted.*

'It is important property and livestock owners are aware of their responsibilities under the law and check to ensure their farm animals remain adequately fenced in – for the sake of the animals and all road users.'

  • People should report wandering stock to the Police’s *555 free cellphone service, or 111 for an emergency.
  • Drivers can also report incidents to the Transport Agency’s 0800 4 HIGHWAYS service.

* North of the Rakaia River, to Kaikoura.

* Three pieces of legislation cover wandering stock: the Crimes Act 1961, the Animal Law Reform Act 1989 and the Impounding Act 1955.