July 2017

The message from our Ranger team this month is, keep stock of your livestock, following a notable increase in the occurrence of straying cattle across the region.

Straying livestock on local roads can pose a serious safety hazard to motorists, even with drivers who may be familiar with the area.  While we understand the majority of the time this is not intentional, there are steps that can be taken to prevent it from happening.

Firstly, it is important for livestock owners to be aware of their responsibilities in making sure animals are kept within their property boundaries. Preventable measures can be put in place including the regular maintenance of fences, ensuring they are up to scratch and not easy for cattle to break down and get out. With this, it is also important to regularly monitor your cattle and ensure all stock is able to be easily identified.

We are also encouraging landowners and graziers to register their livestock with Council so in the case they do stray onto neighbouring properties or public roads, they can be promptly returned.

It is free to register and all you have to do is simply call our Customer Service Team on 4992 4100 or email council@cessnock.nsw.gov.au and ask to add your animals to the stock register.

It is always our intention to return straying stock to their owner as quick as we can, but this is really difficult when we are not able to identify the owner. This is why simply supplying contact details and registering your stock can make this process a whole lot easier.

If it is not possible to identify the animal or find the owner, we have to proceed to impounding the animal and holding them for seven days. If the owner comes forward during this time, a release fee is charged and if they don’t come forward after this timeframe, the stock are sold at auction. This is really the last resort and we would like to work with our local landowners and graziers to prevent this from happening.

While we are discussing this topic, it is also important to remind people to be careful if you come across straying stock as they can often be unpredictable. Our advice is to not take control of the situation yourself, but rather contact Council and one of our rangers will come and help.

If you would like more information about straying livestock or about our livestock register, visit www.cessnock.nsw.gov.au/community/livestock