No need for a livestock ordinance

Published 9:35 am Wednesday, March 22, 2017

We don’t think it should take adoption of a county ordinance to expect farmers and those who own animals to do their best to keep their animals from trespassing onto another person’s property.

Instead, farmers should hold themselves and each other accountable.

A proposed ordinance prohibiting livestock from running at large in Charlotte County drew united opposition from farmers who attended the public hearing held recently by county supervisors.

If approved, the ordinance would prohibit the running of large livestock in the county, including cattle, horses, mules, goats, sheep, swine, donkeys, alpaca, llamas and any other four-legged or hooved animal.

“The boundary line of each lot or tract of land in the county is declared and established to be a lawful fence as to any livestock identified …, the considered ordinance states.

While we don’t think it’s the government’s place to adopt rigid laws, such as this, which could penalize farmers, it’s essential that those who own cattle, horses and other animals to take responsibility for their livestock and not allow them to roam freely.

The consequences of roaming livestock and other animals can be costly, damaging and even deadly in the case of large animals getting into the roadway.

The possibility of the new ordinance was first discussed during a November meeting of the board of supervisors when Red House/Cullen Supervisor Dr. Nancy Carwile said Eureka Elementary School had a situation where cattle and sheep were on the playground.

Having animals, whether it be cows, horses, sheep or swine come with a great responsibility to keep them safe from harm or harming someone else’s property. It’s one that should be taken seriously.