The issue of straying stock and impounding of those animals on private properties, Government/Council land and roadsides has been handled by different authorities over a number of years.
There is a process Council follows when stock are reported straying on public roadways or public land within the Local Government Area. Please see below for more information.
Where stock are reported straying on public roadways or public land within a Council area, Council staff will:
- Seek information from the person reporting as to the location, number of stock, potential owners and if there is any immediate danger to road users or other members of the public from the stock in that area.
- Contact local NSW Police to seek assistance if traffic control is required.
- Attend area and put appropriate warning signage in place.
- Determine if the owner of the stock can be identified and arrange to have the owner come and assist with the return of the stock to their property.
- If there is danger to road users, seek a direction from Police to have the stock put in the nearest available paddock or yards, and, if possible, in consultation with the landholder.
- If the owner cannot be identified, Ranger staff will arrange for the stock to be impounded at an appropriate time.
Where a complaint is received of straying stock on private property, the following steps should be taken:
- A landholder who has stray stock on their property will be requested to yard those stock on their property and maintain a duty of care of those stock until the owner collects them or they are transported to a suitable impounding facility by the landholder.
- During business hours, Council's Ranger and Local Land Services (LLS) staff will attend the property to identify the stock and ascertain if they are diseased. Information on how the stock came to be on the property should be obtained
- Council staff will contact the stock owner and advise that the stock is impounded at the landholder's property. The stock owner should be advised of their responsibilities and issued with an advisory or warning letter. This could include that subsequent incidents can result in legal action (infringement notice or Court) and fees and charges associated with the impounding.
- The owner of the stock that have been impounded should be encouraged to contact the landholder who has the animals on their property to arrange a suitable time to collect the stock and, if requested, pay a reasonable amount for maintenance while the stock have been impounded. Any other costs must be pursued through agreement or Civil Court action.
- If the owner of the stock cannot be identified or does not come forward to claim the stock, arrangements should be made to have them transferred to the nearest suitable impounding facility. Council will then take responsibility for the impounding and disposal of that stock.
- If the owner of the stock cannot be identified or does not come forward to claim the stock, arrangements should be made by the landowner to have them transferred to the nearest suitable impounding facility. Council will then take responsibility for the impounding and disposal of that stock.