New rules for animals left in public or trespassing onto private land, under the Public Spaces (Unattended Property) Act 2021 and regulations. Animals, such as stock animals, that have been left or have become unattended can be a safety risk to road users and our agricultural industry and can impact the enjoyment of public spaces.
Under the Public Spaces (Unattended Property) Act 2021 and regulations Councils staff may take possession of an animal when it is unattended in a public place or when it has trespassed onto private land without the permission of the occupier of that land. An authorised officer must prioritise the welfare and safety of the animal, biosecurity requirements and safety of the community. An authorised officer may:
- return an unattended animal to the owner (if known), or
- immediately take possession of an unattended animal without providing prior notice and take it to a place of care
Stock on roads
If you see stock on the road contact the animal’s owner (if known) in the first instance to notify them of their animal wandering. If unsuccessful, contact Council to notify them of a wandering animal.