Stock droving rules may be tightened

File photo: Istock
File photo: Istock
Rules around stock droving may be tightened in a bid to keep animals off roads.

Selwyn District Council's stock droving bylaw was first implemented in 2008 and was reviewed this year. The review follows a series of crashes involving cattle over the past two years.

Last year former Selwyn mayor Bill Woods and his two passengers were lucky to escape serious injury after his Mercedes-Benz, travelling at about 100km/h, collided with a cow. A week later, a 27-year-old motorist suffered serious injuries when she collided with a cow in Burnham.

The review has led to proposed amendments to the bylaw which are considered of ‘significant interest’ to the community. They include:

• Stock can only graze on the verge of a road that has a speed limit of 60km/h or less.

• A stock underpass must be constructed, at the owner’s expense, if the herd size is greater than 400 animals and it is technically possible to do so.

• The district council may recover all expenses incurred in connection with removing wandering animals from any road.

• Temporary fences can be removed by the district council if they have been requested to be removed and have been up for longer than 30 days without consent.

In a report presented to district councillors, transportation team leader Mark Chamberlain said there have been some issues over the past 10 years with the current bylaw.

“The proposed amendments have been made following feedback from both infrastructure and compliance staff,” he said.

District councillor Pat McEvedy said the changes will pose a challenge for farmers.

“I think they need to be very aware of what this bylaw actually means to them and that it is important and does affect them,” he said.

Cr McEvedy urges all farmers in the district to read up on the amendments and the bylaw in its entirety to ensure they understand the changes.

The amended bylaw is due to be tabled at a district council meeting today and councillors will vote on adopting it for public consultation.

A ‘special consultative procedure’ will be followed when handling the consultation due to the significance of the amendments.

This means all submissions and meetings will be open to the public, and submitters will be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard.

A subcommittee, consisting of two councillors appointed after the October local body elections, will consider submissions and report back on any changes for adoption.