University of Vermont AAHS

Louisiana Livestock Laws


LOUISIANA REVISED STATUTES
TITLE 3. AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY
CHAPTER 16. DISEASES OF ANIMALS
PART III. CATTLE FEVER TICK ERADICATION


2188. Right of parishes to regulate fences not affected
Nothing contained in this Part shall operate as what is commonly called a "no fence law" nor to deprive the various parishes of the right vested in them to regulate the form and height of inclosures or fences, nor to pass ordinances and regulations controlling the roaming of cattle and livestock within the boundaries of their respective parishes, as provided by R.S. 33:1236.


1236. Powers of parish governing authorities
The police juries and other parish governing authorities shall have the following powers:

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(4) To regulate the form and height of inclosures or fences, whenever they may think proper to require the proprietors to inclose any ground. (5) To pass all ordinances and regulations in relation to the marking, the sale, destruction of cattle in general and especially of wild cattle which are not marked and also of horses and mules; and to take any measure concerning the policing of cattle in general in all the cases not provided for by law; to fix the time in which cattle may be suffered to rove in the parishes of this state, where that custom prevails, so that such roving may not be detrimental to the crops; to determine what animals shall not be suffered to rove, and in what cases they may lawfully be killed.

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TITLE 3. AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY
CHAPTER 18. ANIMALS RUNNING AT LARGE
PART VI. STOCK AT LARGE ON PUBLIC HIGHWAYS
SUBPART A. IN GENERAL


2801. Legislative findings
There is hereby found and declared a necessity for a stock law embracing certain public highways of the state of Louisiana and necessity that its application be uniform throughout the state.


2802. Definitions
As used in this Subpart, the following terms are defined as follows: (1) "Livestock" means any animal, hybrid, mixture, or mutation of the species of horses, mules, donkeys, asses, cattle, swine, sheep, goats, domesticated deer, buffalo, bison, and beefalo. (2) "Public highway" means a public way for vehicular traffic, including the entire area dedicated thereto and the bridges, culverts, structures, appurtenances and features necessary to or associated with its purpose, and refers to those highways designated in R.S. 3:2803. (3) "Owner of livestock" means any person owning livestock. (4) "Manager of livestock" means any person other than an owner of livestock having the care and control of livestock.


2803. Livestock at large upon certain highways
No person owning livestock shall knowingly, willfully, or negligently permit his livestock to go at large upon the following public highways of this state:

[[NOTE: Lengthy list of public highways omitted.]]


2804. Impounding livestock found at large upon highways
A. The deputy secretary of Department of Public Safety shall, and all sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, constables, and justices of the peace may, cause any livestock found at large upon any highway of the state of Louisiana, as defined in R.S. 3:2803, to be taken into custody and impounded. Any livestock so taken into custody shall be impounded in the nearest official state police impoundment area. Any officer taking custody of and impounding livestock shall immediately notify the deputy secretary of Department of Public Safety or his duly authorized representative in the parish in which the livestock is impounded and shall, within twenty-four hours after such notification, notify the owner or manager of such livestock, if known, personally or by leaving written notice at his place of residence.

B. The owner or manager of livestock so impounded shall have the right to secure his livestock upon the payment to the superintendent of state police or officer impounding the livestock of a fee of twenty dollars per head of livestock. He shall also pay to the officer impounding such livestock the cost of feeding and caring for such livestock at the rate of two dollars per day for each animal and the cost of any necessary veterinary and advertisement fees incurred.

C. The governor is authorized to establish, by executive order, in the Department of Public Safety, a suitable patrol force to enforce the provisions of this Subpart. The members of the patrol shall be employees of the Department of Public Safety, and their salaries and expenses shall be paid in the same manner as is provided for other employees.

D. The provisions of this Section and of R.S. 3:2805 and 3:2806 shall be effective for any fiscal year or portion of a fiscal year only if sufficient funds have been appropriated to the deputy secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections for the purpose of enforcing those Sections for the fiscal year or the portion of the fiscal year. If sufficient funds have not been appropriated the deputy secretary shall provide written notice to the Senate and House Committees on Transportation, Highways and Public Works.


2805. Advertisement of impounding when owner is unknown
A. If the owner or manager of any livestock found at large on a public highway is not known or if the owner or manager has no residence in the parish where the livestock is impounded a statement shall be filed with the superintendent of state police or his authorized representative in the parish in which the livestock is impounded, setting forth: (1) The name and address of the person impounding the livestock; (2) A description of the livestock as to kind, sex, marks, brand, color and apparent age; (3) The place of taking custody of and the place where livestock is impounded; (4) The amount of the charges due for feeding and caring for the livestock; (5) The amount of the fee for impounding the livestock.

B. The superintendent of state police or his representative shall then give notice by advertising in a newspaper of general circulation within the parish setting forth the fact of the impoundment, a description of the livestock, and that the owner or manager is unknown or, if known, that he cannot be located. This advertisement shall notify any person claiming to be the owner or manager of such livestock to appear before the superintendent of state police or his representative at a place named and a time not less than three days nor more than six days from the date of notice to prove such claim of ownership or authority to manage. If the owner or manager appears and proves to the satisfaction of the superintendent of state police or his representative that he is the owner or manager of the stock impounded, the superintendent of state police or his representative shall require the owner or manager to pay the fee provided in R.S. 3:2804, the cost of feeding and caring for the stock at the rates hereinabove specified in R.S. 3:2804, and the cost of advertisement.


2806. Sales of unclaimed livestock
A. If, after the notice provided in R.S. 3:2804 and R.S. 3:2805, the owner or manager does not appear within twenty calendar days, the deputy secretary of state police or his representative shall proceed to sell such impounded livestock in the following manner: (1) The deputy secretary of Department of Public Safety or his representative shall advertise in a newspaper of general circulation in the parish where the sale is to take place, the fact of such sale, the date, and the place of the sale. The place of the sale shall be at some public place open to the general public within the parish of impoundment or the nearest sale barn in the vicinity of the place of impoundment and the sale shall take place within ten days after publication of one notice of said sale. The impounded livestock shall be auctioned to the last and highest bidder for cash. (2) From the price of said sale shall be deducted the fee provided in R.S. 3:2804, the cost of feeding and caring for the livestock at the rate hereinabove specified in R.S. 3:2804 and all expenses incurred in the sale. The deputy secretary of Department of Public Safety shall pay the fee provided for feeding and caring for the livestock and the remainder shall be paid to the office of state police.

B. The governing authority of any parish affected by R.S. 3:2801 through R.S. 3:2807 shall have the right to fence any highway or highways affected hereby at the cost and expense of the police jury.


2807. Penalties
Any person convicted of violating the provisions of R.S. 3:2803 shall be fined not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than fifty dollars for each offense. The auditor of the Department of Public Safety shall receive all of the fines imposed and collected for such violation.


2808. Legislative findings
There is hereby found and declared a necessity for fencing certain public highways of the state of Louisiana and necessity that its application be uniform throughout the state.


2809. Fencing of public highways, state aid
A. In order to promote the general welfare, to assist the owners of livestock in the areas adjacent to the above described highways and to enhance the safety of the motoring public, there is hereby appropriated out of the general fund to the state department of highways the sum of $ 200,000 for the fiscal year 1954-1955 and the sum of $ 200,000 for the fiscal year 1955-1956, with which to defray under the conditions hereinafter set forth, not to exceed one-half the cost of providing the necessary material for the erection of fences paralleling the said highways, said fences to consist of three strands of barbed wire, standard grade or better, strung on creosote posts spaced fifteen feet apart.

B. The owner of livestock in any parish or ward that has not adopted a stock law on or before July 28th, 1954, desiring to construct such a fence, may apply to the state department of highways for assistance therein, in accordance with the provisions of this Section; and upon it being made to appear to the said department, to its reasonable satisfaction, that: (1) There has been made available, either in kind, or thru the subscription of funds from private, non- governmental sources sufficient funds to provide the necessary labor; (2) Funds are available from any local source, that is from other than an agency of the state government sufficient to defray not less than one-half of the cost of acquiring, providing and transporting to the location of the project, the materials for the construction of fences as provided in Subsection A of this Section; (3) The proposed project is feasible; the department of highways is authorized and directed to bear and defray, out of the funds herein appropriated, not to exceed one-half the cost of acquisition and transportation of the materials aforesaid.

C. Fences to which contribution is made under the provisions of this Section shall be upon public rights-of- way; but the exact location thereof shall be subject to the approval of the department of highways; and the purchase of all materials and the manner of utilization thereof shall be subject to inspection and approval of the said department, in order to determine compliance with the general provisions of law and the requirements of this Section.

D. Neither the state nor any of its subdivisions shall assume or be held in any manner responsible for the maintenance or upkeep of the fences constructed under the provisions hereof; or any part of the cost of such maintenance or upkeep thereof.


2810. Closing of gates in fences constructed with state aid
It shall be the obligation of users of property contiguous to state highways upon which fences have been erected with state aid to ascertain that the gates from the owner's private property to the public road be kept closed except when actually in use and tended by a competent person. Failure of the user of the private property to keep the gates closed shall subject him to the same penalties as provided in R.S. 3:2807.


2811. Fences erected upon public highways with state aid; damaging, removal and destruction prohibited; exceptions; penalties for violation
A. Fences erected upon state highways with a contribution from the Department of Highways of the State of Louisiana are the property of the State of Louisiana. The damaging, removal or destruction of such fences, except as permitted in Sub-section B of this Section is specifically prohibited.

B. Owners of property bounded by a highway upon which such a fence has been erected may remove the fence from that portion of the highway in front of their property if they have erected similar connecting fences to prevent livestock from their lands and lands contiguous to their lands from roaming at large upon the public road. Responsibility for the effectiveness of such connecting fences shall rest upon the landowner. The state shall have no title to the connecting fences.

C. The department of public safety of the state of Louisiana shall be charged with the responsibility for administering the provisions of this Section.

D. Whoever damages, removes or destroys any fence covered by Sub-section A hereof, without previously erecting connecting fences, so as to permit the roaming of cattle upon the highways, shall, upon conviction therefor, be fined not more than one hundred dollars or be imprisoned in the parish jail for a period not to exceed thirty days, or both, in the discretion of the court.


2815. Impoundment pens or areas
The State Department of Public Safety shall designate and establish within each parish of the state, where necessary, an impoundment pen or area which shall be maintained by the department or by a person designated by the Superintendent of State Police solely for the purpose of impounding and retaining within the parish all livestock, swine and other cattle or animals subject to impoundment under the laws of this state. Animals impounded under such laws shall be retained and cared for in said impoundment pens or areas until disposed of in the manner provided by law. The Superintendent of State Police is authorized to deputize or otherwise obtain the services of one farmer in each parish who shall be responsible for maintaining and caring for all animals impounded.


2851. Livestock not to go on paved, black-topped and asphalt treated highways
It shall not be lawful for horses, mules, donkeys, or asses to go on the paved, black-topped and asphalt treated highways of the state system and the rights of way therefor.


2854. Impounding pens, yards and keepers
The department in which the patrol is established by the governor shall establish impounding pens and yards, and employ pound keepers.


2855. Fees and costs
The fees and costs under this Sub-part shall be as follows: for the first impounding, per head, ten dollars; for the second impounding, per head, twenty-five dollars; for keeping, one dollar per head for each day the stock are kept by the impounder or keeper; for making the sale, five dollars per head for each animal sold; for proceeding, as in case of estrays, such costs as are now allowed by law in cases of estrays in the several parishes. Provided, that no charge shall be made for the first impounding of an animal where it is shown to the satisfaction of the patrol that the animal has escaped from his enclosure or gone upon the highway through no fault of the owner.


2856. Branding of animals impounded
Every animal impounded shall be branded with a distinctive brand, burned into the hide of the animal, which, together with a description of the animal, shall be entered on a record to be kept by the patrol and the pound keeper.


2858. Impounded animals, release of prohibited; penalty
No person shall by force, threats, or fraud release any animal impounded under the provisions of R.S. 3:2572. Whoever violates this Section shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars, or imprisoned not more than sixty days, or both.

 

Reviewed by AAHS in December 2001.


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