What to do if you find livestock on your property or wandering around

Straying stock can be a problem in rural areas, especially if the residents are absent from the property for a period of time.

Our Rangers can help if stock is on a road by putting the stock back and issuing a fencing order if a problem exists with fencing.

However, if cattle or other livestock are going from property to property, it is a private matter between neighbours and even if the livestock are damaging property, it is a civil matter as Council has no resources allocated or available to get involved.

Two pieces of legislation deal with straying stock – the Rural Lands Protection Act 1989 and the Impounding Act 1993. Under the Rural Lands Protection Act, stock is considered to be ‘abandoned’ if they are left unattended on a public road or public land. Abandoned or trespassing animals may be impounded by a Rural Lands Protection Board officer or council ranger and there is a fee to have them released. A fine also may be imposed.

Occupiers of private land can impound any animals that stray on to it. If they know the owners of the stock they must inform them within 24 hours. Straying stock should not be kept for more than four days before being sent to the pound. If the owner of the stock cannot be found, people should make arrangements to have the stock transported to Lismore Saleyards to be impounded. Phone our Rangers on 1300 87 83 87 and they will help with this process.

Landholders have a responsibility under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 to feed and care for any animals which are impounded on their land. You can recover any costs associated with the care of straying stock from the owner.

Local Land Services shares responsibilities for stock health with the NSW Department of Primary Industries. If you see any stock that appears to be in ill health, contact Local Land Services.

For individual animal problems and other farm animals, e.g. the house cow, horse and companion animals, contact a local vet.