Moving cattle on the road: Who has the upper hand?

Yesterday, AgriLand published some information for farmers regarding the rules of the road where cattle movement is concerned.

Also Read: What are the rules of the road when moving cattle?

Today, further details in respect of the matter have been made available from both the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Road Safety Authority (RSA).

In a statement to AgriLand, the department said that its main welfare legislation on the issue of moving cattle was incorporated into section 11 of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013.

It stated that a person who has a protected animal under their control, shall, having regard to the animal’s nature, type, species, breed, development, adaptation, domestication, physiological and behavioural needs and environment, safeguard that animal.

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“In accordance with established experience and scientific knowledge, it is necessary for a person in control of a protected animal to take all steps to ensure that the animal is kept and treated in a manner that safeguards the health and welfare of the animal, and does not threaten the health or welfare of the animal or another animal,” the department added.

“The Animals Act 1985 is under the remit of the Department of Justice and An Garda Siochana.”

Meanwhile, the RSA said that both the driver and the drover hold responsibility for animal welfare on public roads under its guidelines.

“A driver meeting or overtaking an animal on a road shall either reduce speed or halt the vehicle, if requested to do so – whether by signal or otherwise – by a person in charge of the animal,” a spokesperson continued.

It is necessary for a person in control of a protected animal to take all steps to ensure that the animal is kept and treated in a manner that safeguards the health and welfare of the animal.

“A person in charge of an animal which is being driven along or onto a road shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that the animal does not obstruct other traffic or a pedestrian; that, save when being driven to or from land or premises, the animal is not on a cycle track or footway, and that traffic overtaking the animal has room to do so in safety.

“During lighting-up hours a person in charge of animals on a road should warn other road users of the presence of the animals and provide a lamp showing a white light visible for a reasonable distance in the direction in which the animals are travelling and a red light visible for a reasonable distance in the opposite direction.”

The RSA also pointed out that horses must be led on the right-hand side of the road.

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