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Farmers urged to check fence lines

An increase in stock related road accidents is a reminder to farmers to check their fence lines, particularly those that bound roads and highways.

Council’s Animal Control team has been called out to 16 cases of wandering stock on roads so far this month.

In June four steers were hit by vehicles and subsequently killed or destroyed.

State Highway 2 North has been the area of most wandering stock concerns.

Wairoa District Council chief executive Steven May said lack of fencing, or sub-standard fencing, has been an increasing problem, and that appears to have resulted in the increase in wandering stock.

“Recently Council officers have attended some nasty accidents where massive vehicle damage has occurred, and stock are left dead or dying on the road.

“The consequences of wandering stock are very severe, and we are just lucky that no one in a vehicle that has collided with stock has been killed.”

“When animal control officers are called to an incident their main objective is to ensure the public are safe and to get the stock off the roads as safely and efficiently as possible.

“Night callouts are dangerous for everyone concerned, including Council staff ,and these can be avoided if the fences are secure.

“We encourage farmers to walk their roadside boundary fences and check for holes and repair any damaged fences.

“It is essential that fencing is sufficient to ensure stock cannot get out and onto roads or highways.

“If officers know or suspect who the stock belongs to, they will try to contact the stock or landowner, but ultimately it is up to the stock owners to safeguard themselves, their stock and the public.

“People who continually fail to keep their stock contained will be reminded of their obligations, and if they continue to offend there will be a cost in relation to the time spent on a callout and as a last resort stock will be impounded.

Stock owners are also reminded that when moving stock on roads make sure you have spotters with lights at the front and rear of the stock, use road cones and wear hi-vis safety clothing.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Compliance Team Leader Paul van Dorrestein at the Wairoa District Council.

21 August 2019

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