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Rural property owners warned about wandering stock risks

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The NZ Transport Agency and Police are reminding Canterbury’s rural property owners of their responsibility in ensuring their properties are adequately fenced to contain their livestock.

The reminder comes after a number of reports of wandering stock on state highway road reserve throughout the region in recent weeks.

The Transport Agency’s Highway Manager Colin Knaggs says wandering stock poses a serious safety risk to all road users, not only on the state highway network but also local roads.

“When farm animals wander within the road reserve they are a significant hazard to those travelling through the area. Livestock owners are required to ensure their land is securely fenced to prevent animals from straying onto the highway.”

Sergeant Graeme Crosson of the Hurunui Police says livestock owners are also reminded that they are liable for any damage caused by their wandering stock and if wandering stock cause a crash and negligence can be proven, the livestock owner may be prosecuted.

He says property and livestock owners should be aware they have responsibilities under three pieces of legislation - the Crimes Act 1961, the Animal Law Reform Act 1989 and the Impounding Act 1955.

“It is important property and livestock owners are aware of their responsibilities under the acts and take relevant measures to ensure their farm animals remain adequately fenced in.”

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