Wandering livestock can pose a significant hazard on our roads and they have caused fatal accidents in our district. Their potential impact on the safety of our rural roads is an important issue as population growth and the increasing popularity of lifestyle
blocks mean more people are using rural roads, often at faster speeds. Our Council and the Police work together to respond to livestock issues on our district's local roads as required.
Note - if you own straying stock which damage the roads or its roadsides - or if they contribute to an accident on the road, you will be liable for the costs associated with repairing any damage - and you may face criminal charges. The Council can also impound stock if they're found wandering where they shouldn't be.
Reporting stray livestock on roads
If you see livestock wandering on or obstructing the road (alive or dead), call us immediately to report it. Our animal control staff are available 24 hours a day - call our freephone 0800 492 452.
If the livestock incident is occurring on a state highway in the district, call the NZ Transport Agency freephone 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49).
Alternatively, for both local roads and state highways, you can call the Police on *555 from a mobile phone.
Stray stock on private property
If other people's stray stock come onto your private property, you'll need to be aware of the following:
Do you know the stock owner? If so, keep the stock on your land and notify the owner within 24 hours. You can do this personally or by delivering a written notice detailing what stock have trespassed and details of any trespass rates you wish to claim.
Sometimes the owner of the land trespassed upon can claim damages from the owner of the stock instead of trespass rates. Refer to the Impounding Act 1955 or call or email our animal control staff for more information - freephone 0800 492 452.
You must feed and give all necessary care and attention to the stock while they are on your property.
If the stock are not claimed within 48 hours (or if you don't know who owns them), you must make arrangements to deliver the stock to the Council’s stock pound and advise our animal control staff about this. We'll then advertise the stock and if
they're claimed, we'll recover all Council and landowner costs.
If stock are unclaimed, they'll be sold by public auction. The money will go towards Council and landowner costs first, any left over will remain available for the stock owner to collect within 12 months following the sale. However, often the amount raised
doesn't end up covering the costs involved in dealing with the stray stock situation.
Apply to release impounded stock
If you do not know the stock owner or where the animals have come from, you can report them on private property or other non-road areas by calling our animal control staff on our freephone 0800 492 452 if it's urgent, or email us or request a service.
If your stock stray onto other people's private property you may be liable for any damage caused by the stock and any trespass and sustenance costs claimed by the owner of the property. If you need to claim impounded livestock, see our application to release impounded stock
You may also be liable for any costs that result from your stock being impounded incurred by the Council including:
- Transportation to the stock pound.
- Impounding fees.
- Animal control officers’ time and mileage.
- Grazing costs.
- Necessary vet treatment etc.