N.S. communities to get clear powers on runaway livestock

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Any community defined as a “municipality” in Nova Scotia will soon be able to act to deal with stray livestock and local fencing problems.

The provincial government on Wednesday introduced legislative changes to its Fences and Detention of Stray Livestock Act, to make it easier for municipalities to respond when livestock go wandering.

The law until now has called for municipalities to first be designated by the governor-in-council. It will be amended to apply instead to all municipalities as defined under the Municipal Government Act.

For example, earlier this summer, according to the Truro Daily News, Colchester County impounded an animal that was running at large, but the municipality was told by the province it didn’t have authority to impound livestock.

A Colchester councillor was quoted in the Daily News as noting that another animal left improperly fenced was causing problems for neighbours.

“Municipalities in rural parts of Nova Scotia play an important role in responding to issues involving fencing and stray livestock,” said Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell. “We’re making these changes to improve their ability to respond to concerns and protect public safety.”

The changes will also set up a fencing arbitration committee — and clarify the makeup of that committee.

The amendments, Colwell said, “will enable municipalities to effectively and efficiently respond to stray livestock issues while lessening the administrative requirements.”

The province will also repeal an outdated duplicate law, the Fences and Impounding of Stray Animals Act. — AGCanada.com Network

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