Wandering livestock causing safety concerns

MURRINDINDI Shire Council Community Safety Officers have been responding to increasing numbers of livestock wandering onto roads.

Murrindindi Shire Council General Manager Infrastructure and Development, Stuart McConnell, said this is a real problem because of the safety risk roaming animals pose to drivers as well as pedestrians.

“Part of the problem is that while paddocks have got a green flush due to recent rains, there really is not that much feed about,” Mr McConnell said.

“We know our farmers are doing it tough due to low rainfall this season. But, we’re calling on all livestock owners to make sure their animals are getting enough to eat as hunger often motivates livestock to push through fences in search of food.

“When our Community Safety Officers respond to wandering livestock, they will remind owners of the need to contain stock and, where necessary, will issue notices or fines. Our officers have issued several notices to confine livestock and subsequent fines to livestock owners who have failed to confine their animals. The penalty for owners whose livestock has been found wandering is more than $600.

“We are calling on livestock owners to do an extra ‘ride around’ their fence lines to ensure they’re in working order. We’re also encouraging people to ‘brush up’ on their feed and nutrition knowledge – there’s heaps of information at www.agriculture.vic.gov.au,” Mr McConnell said.

For more information or to report wandering stock, call Council’s Community Safety team on 5772 0333.