Branan and Chatham County Sheriff Discuss Loose Livestock

Clouds pass over cattle in the pasture of the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Andrew Branan, Extension Assistant Professor, worked with Chatham County Cooperative Extension and the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office to deliver a program in December 2019 about escaped livestock response and liability.  The innovative and interactive program – called Barn to Badge – was organized by Ashley Robbins, Chatham Livestock Agent, in response to frequent questions on the topic from livestock and poultry owners.

Chatham County Sheriff Mike Roberson was on hand with a number of his deputies to interact with livestock owners and respond to questions and how the sheriff’s office responds to escaped livestock reports.  Sheriff Roberson also discussed various responses to reports of trespassing, and helpful tips for landowners to minimize such incidents.

Branan discussed the basic laws of fencing and civil liability theories for injuries caused by loose livestock and poultry, as well as best practices to prevent such events from happening.  Branan added to the discussion on trespass liability and prevention, and gave an update on North Carolina’s recent farm nuisance lawsuits and legislative effort to insulate farmers from such claims.  Sheriff Roberson did note the need for additional training for law enforcement in livestock matters saying: “Our present training ensures a quick response, but we always have more to learn on getting the animals back inside the fence!”