Livestock are considered animals raised in an agricultural setting and can include horses, cows, goats, bulls and sheep etc.
By law, all animal livestock must be securely enclosed on your property. An enclosure is defined as the area of land on which the livestock is kept and is appropriately sized to effectively and comfortably house the livestock.
Straying livestock can be a problem in rural areas, especially if the residents are absent from the property for a period of time. By law, livestock owners have a duty to provide proper enclosures and prevent animals from wandering or escaping. Livestock that stray from your property may be impounded by the North Burnett Regional Council and only released after the payment of impounding fees.
Council’s Land Protection Officers can help if stock is on a road by returning the stock or notifying the owners.
WHAT CAN I DO IF MY LIVESTOCK ARE STRAYING?
Livestock may stray for various reasons including an urge to roam, searching for food and water, and/or seeking company. If your animal does escape from its enclosure, all measures should be made to prevent this from happening again.
Several precautions can be made to prevent your livestock from escaping to an unfenced area including regular checks of fencing and repairs if necessary. Having an adequately sized fence and enclosure, protects your livestock and the neighbourhood.
As a responsible owner please ensure that your enclosure is suitably fenced:
- High enough that the livestock cannot jump over
- Low enough that the livestock cannot crawl under
- Strong enough that the livestock cannot push through it
- Gates that are self-latching or kept closed and latched.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I FIND STRAYING LIVESTOCK?
If straying livestock are found contact NBRC on 1300 696 272 immediately or as soon as possible.
If you can take note of the type of animal/s, colour/s, breed if known, any stand out identifying markings and how many. It is crucial you can also give a location as close as possible to where you seen the animals and also a time & date.
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY LIVESTOCK ARE CAUGHT STRAYING?
If your livestock are caught straying, Council will make every attempt to return the animal/s to their rightful paddock/enclosure. If it is the first offence information & photographs will be recorded & you shall be notified & sent out a courtesy letter. Second offence information & photographs will be recorded & you shall be notified & sent out a warning letter. Subsequent offences may result in impoundment of the animal/s or a fine under the Local Law No. 2 (Animal Management) 2011 or Stock Route Management Act 2002.
If livestock are impounded details of the animals will be uploaded to the website if the owner is unknown otherwise owner will be notified. Impoundment feeds must be paid for the release of all impounded animals.
Livestock that isn’t claimed from the Council pound will be auctioned to the public. If the auction is unsuccessful the animal may be euthanised.
STRAYING STOCK DURING DRY CONDITIONS
Livestock in our region contribute to North Burnett Regional Council’s and Queensland’s economy and are the livelihood of numerous residents.
Our region is typically dry from June to October, during which time, livestock may stray from their property.
They can push through fences, escape through dry creeks and can jump over and even crawl under fences to find green grass, usually on the roadside or in a neighbour’s yard.
During dry conditions, especially drought with limited water and grass, livestock owners are faced with buying water and feed at increased prices due to high demand.
Council is aware that hardships may be experienced by owners as they actively work to feed and keep their livestock healthy.
Residents are asked to be mindful of the tough conditions for livestock and their owners.
Council does not have jurisdiction to investigate welfare concerns, these can be reported to RSPCA or Biosecurity QLD.
Council will continue to investigate complaints of livestock straying however will endeavour to work with the owners in the first instance.
WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT MY NEIGHBOUR’S LIVESTOCK STRAYING ON TO MY PROPERTY?
All livestock owners have a responsibility and obligation to keep their livestock contained on their own property by having a suitable enclosure.
Reports of livestock roaming on a roadside are actioned as a priority to ensure that road users and the livestock are kept safe.
Council can investigate and issue notices for fences to be repaired and for livestock found roaming at large.
When Council investigates, evidence of time and date stamped photos of straying livestock is required, along with Witness Statements to enforce animals roaming at large.
However, where livestock are roaming between boundary fences and the enclosure needs repairs, only a warning notice will be issued to the livestock owner.
When this involves an internal boundary fence, Council is unable to undertake further action and the neighbours will be referred to dispute resolution services and dividing fences to reach a mutual agreement civilly.