Safety urged around stock movements

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 05:00 21/05/2014

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The approach of Gypsy Day has police urging safety and security in rural Southland.

Western Southland sub-area commander Senior Sergeant Cynthia Fairley said increased stock movements in late May and early June created issues on rural roads.

"In the past we have had complaints of stock effluent on the roads or wandering stock. Farmers are reminded to let stock stand prior to them being transported so the animals can have time to get comfortable before being loaded onto trucks," she said.

Stock on the region's roads had already caused crashes in the lead up to Gypsy Day.

Last week, Winton police attended a crash where a wandering calf on the road caused serious damage to a vehicle but, fortunately, no injuries to the car's driver, she said.

"Wandering stock endangers road users and innocent people. Farmers, please remember that it's your responsibility to ensure that there is adequate fencing for stock on your property."

Farmers moving stock were required to control stock at all times, wear high-visibility vests, and provide flashing lights and warning signs at the front and rear of herds.

Motorists were also reminded cattle were being moved on roads and needed to be patient while stock are being moved, Fairley said.

The time around Gypsy Day had also seen a spike in crime.

"Over this period last year we had a number of reported thefts. Items that were stolen included fuel, tools, meat from a freezer in a garage, chainsaws, batteries and diesel. We also had a quad motorbike, two-wheel motorbike and a trailer stolen in

Western Southland and these were not recovered," Fairley said.

Farmers were urged to secure their properties and record serial numbers.

When new employees were being recruited, it was important to check their references and ask them for permission to complete a free criminal history check, she said.

"The time spent checking the background of a new employee will pay off in the long run."

Application forms are available at justice.govt.nz.

Southland police will be running a rural operation from May 26 to June 6, focusing on keeping roads safe, preventing property being stolen and the safe loading of vehicles. neil.ratley@stl.co.nz

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