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Grazing Land: Fences

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 24 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what responsibilities farmers have to ensure that livestock are controlled with stockproof fences around their land. (138412)

Farmers have a duty of care to protect the welfare of their livestock under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Additionally, there is legislation requiring farmers to control their animals. Section 155 of the Highways Act 1980 provides that where livestock are found straying or lying on or at the side of the highway, the owner is guilty of an offence and is liable for expenses incurred in any subsequent transportation and care for the livestock.

Section 4 of the Animals Act 1971 provides that where livestock stray onto private land, the owner of the livestock will be liable for any damage done by the livestock to the land or property, including expenses incurred if the owner of the land detains the livestock. In some circumstances the livestock may also be sold to cover such costs.