How To Deal With A Stray Cow

Cattle on the roads are part and parcel of living on Norfolk Island; they are the responsibility of their owners at all times.
Sometimes cows will get into places where they shouldn’t go. With the lure of sweet grass and tasty garden plants, some have worked out how to walk or slide across the current grids – which were originally designed to minimise the noise inflicted on local residents by passing traffic – into the Burnt Pine town area. Council is in the process of redesigning the cattle grids on the borders of town to be more effective.
It is worth bearing in mind cows that enter the town area are likely to attempt to break through fences on adjoining properties. So this is a timely reminder that it is each property owner’s legal responsibility to ensure they have adequate fencing in place to prevent the entry or the exit of cattle.
Council wishes to emphasise that cattle owners who have Pasturage and Enclosure rights issued in respect of cattle grazing in public areas must ensure their cattle are properly controlled and do not stray into any enclosed areas, including the public and private areas at Burnt Pine enclosed by the cattle grids.
The Council accepts no legal liability of any kind whatsoever for any kinds of losses, damage, injuries or deaths occurring in a way, at any time, as a result of any cattle entering the Burnt Pine town area or entering any private properties (including those properties within the Burnt Pine area).
IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH A COW, WHAT CAN YOU DO?
In the event that there is a problem with a cow, for example in instances such as, but not limited to, a motor vehicle accident, injury, fright to a person, or damage to property:

  • Phone the relevant person for the cattle (the Pasturage Contacts register is available on the Council’s website www.norfolkisland.gov.nf/services/stock-and-pasturage and below). If you are unable to contact the cattle owner or agent then contact one of the four designated people on the Pasturage Contacts register.
  • If necessary, impound the cattle. The Conservator has the power to impound cattle (Pounds Act 1934 s6).
  • If unsuccessful in contacting the owner or their agent, or one of the four designated people on the Pasturage Contacts register:
    • the cattle is to be impounded, and
    • in the case of injured cattle, contact a veterinary surgeon
    • notify the Pound Keeper (the next day if the cattle issue occurs out of hours).
  • If necessary, arrange for the cattle to be captured by the Stock Contractor (Candice Nobbs) or the Conservator (Bruce Taylor) and taken by trailer to the Pound.
  • If appropriate, contact the Police.

IF YOU SEE A COW IN THE BURNT PINE AREA, WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Anyone who notices cattle straying within the Burnt Pine town area inside the cattle grid zone should, if possible, identify the tag number, if any, and then contact the relevant person or one of the four designated people, as above.
In the event that you are unable to contact the owner or their agent, you may call the Customer Care staff or the Conservator who will endeavour to contact the owner to organise the recovery of the animal.
Any cattle found to have entered the Burnt Pine town area may be seized and impounded by the Council, the Pound Keeper, or the Police until it is recovered by its lawful owner following payment in full of all seizure and impound fees and charges. Animals not claimed from the pound may be sold or destroyed according to law, without compensation to any previous owner.
Cattle owners should obtain their own professional legal advice on their legal obligations regarding their cattle in Norfolk Island. (e.g. Fencing Act 1913, Pasturage and Enclosure act 1949, Pounds Act 1934, Summary Offences Act 2005).
Bruce Taylor
GROUP MANAGER SERVICES