Police warn of dangers of cattle on road

POLICE want farmers to take the bull by the horns and get keep their cattle of our roads.

Gladstone Police Sergeant Royce Devlin said police received a call every day about cattle on the road.

Sgt Devlin said there had been accidents caused by stray cattle in the region and that they had the potential to cause deaths.

"Cows are big and hefty and can cause substantial damage to vehicles and have the potential to injure the occupants of a vehicle, Sgt Devlin said.

When police receive a call about cattle on the road they contact the authority responsible for the road.

Sgt Devlin said when cows were hit by cars, farmers were not usually charged, but that the case could be taken up in the civil courts.

"You generally have time to slow down and avoid cows if you're doing the proper speed limit," Sgt Devlin said.

He said most farmers were responsible when looking after their cattle.

"Farmers don't want their cows on the road because if it gets hit it costs them money, they don't want their stock or livelihood put in danger."

Ubobo farmer Gary Groves from Hazeldean has both collided with a cow on the road and had one of his stock hit.

He said there were a lot of factors at play with stray cattle including the age and quality of the fence and the availability of green feed on the other side of the fence.

"Branches can fall over fences, cattle can get spooked, and some are just born 'fence crawlers'," he said.

"The best thing to do is to call council and they'll send someone out and notify the landowner."

A TMR departmental spokesperson said, "We encourage motorists to drive with caution and always to road conditions, especially in rural areas.

"When we receive reports of cattle on the road we work with local contractors to return livestock to the owner.

"This includes providing traffic control to ensure the safety of road users and a crew to corral the stray animals.

"If livestock are repeatedly escaping a property onto the road, we will contact the property owner and request they upgrade their fencing or implement alternate arrangements to address the issue."

Comment was requested from Gladstone Regional Council but it was unable to respond.

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