Straying Stock

The City regularly receives complaints from property owners, motorists and the Police about straying stock.  Straying stock presents a significant threat to road safety throughout the City.

It is an offence for an owner to allow their cattle to stray into and be at large in a street or public place (Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1960, section 484). This Act also gives local government authorities the power to take possession of straying cattle and be reimbursed by the owner for the costs of looking after them. The owner may also be fined.

If the owner of livestock:

  • permits the livestock to stray;
  • permits the livestock to be at large;
  • tethers the livestock; or
  • depastures the livestock

in a street or other public place he/she commits an offence.  Penalty: $200.

If livestock are found straying or at large, or tethered, or depastured, in a street or other public place, the owner of the livestock is regarded as having permitted the cattle to so stray or to be at large or to have so tethered or depastured the cattle.

If the owner of the cattle cannot be found, the person in charge or apparently in charge of the cattle is regarded as the owner.

 Rural property owners should safeguard their liability in this regard and ensure that boundary fences are in sound condition and gates locked to avoid prosecution or liability for damage to vehicles from accidents with straying livestock.

 A person who neglects to keep in repair a fence or gate separating the land owned or occupied by him from a road commits an offence.

Pursuant to the provisions of S3.25 of the Local Government Act 1995 and Schedule 3.1 of the Local Government Act 1995 the City of Busselton may require you to take specified measures for preventing or minimising a danger to the public or danger to property which might result from wandering cattle.


“cattle” includes horses, mares, fillies, foals, gelding, colts, camels, bulls, bullocks, cow, heifers, steers, calves, asses, mules, sheep, lambs, goats and swine.