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Farmers and rural road users in the northern part of the Waikato district need to be aware that a new bylaw regarding stock movement on public roads will come into force on 1 July 2012.
On this date, farmers in the former Franklin district area will join the remainder of the Waikato district in coming under the Waikato District Council Livestock Movement Bylaw passed in 2011.
This bylaw has been introduced to protect farmers, motorists and stock with a simple set of rules that govern how stock can be moved on public roads said general manager of roading and projects Ian Gooden.
“The Livestock Movement Bylaw has two key goals; to protect the safety of all who use the roads and to protect the road itself from stock damage,” Mr Gooden said.
Safety on rural roads is an increasingly important issue as population growth and the increasing popularity of lifestyle blocks mean more people use rural roads, often at faster speeds.
“The council has listened to feedback from farmers in passing a bylaw which addresses the differing needs of farmers, road users and the council as the custodian of the roads,” Mr Gooden said.
The bylaw identifies four types of stock movement:
Permits are free, allow for multiple crossings, and are valid for up to five years. Regardless of whether a permit is required certain safety measures will have to be observed when moving stock, including warning signs, flashing amber lights and dayglo safety vests. For more information on the bylaw visit http://www.waikatodc.govt.nz/Services/Roading-and-transportation/Livestock-Movement-Bylaw.aspx
“Farmers affected by the bylaw should make sure they are ready for the transition well ahead of the 1 July implementation date, and that includes obtaining a permit if needed,” said Mr Gooden.
In cases where the bylaw is breached, the council will firstly look to work with the farmer to rectify the problem and help them understand the bylaw. The council also has the power to suspend or revoke a permit, and in extreme cases prosecution may result, with a fine of up to $20,000 able to be imposed.
The 1 July implementation date for the Franklin area, compared with the 1 November 2011 date for the remainder of the Waikato district, was to allow Franklin farmers time to adjust to additional requirements not present under the former Franklin District Council’s bylaw.