University of Vermont AAHS

Pennsylvania Livestock Laws

 

PENNSYLVANIA STATUTES
TITLE 35. HEALTH AND SAFETY
CHAPTER 5. WATER AND SEWAGE
PROTECTION OF PUBLIC WATER SUPPLY
ARTICLE VII. SCOPE AND PURPOSE



691.702. Fences along streams
No administrative agency of the Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof shall require any person to erect a fence along a stream in a pasture or other field used for grazing of farm livestock for the purpose of keeping farm livestock out of the stream.


TITLE 3. AGRICULTURE
CHAPTER 9. STRAYS
ANIMALS RUNNING AT LARGE
GENERAL PROVISIONS


582. Duty of person taking up stray
If the owner shall not have appeared within ten days after any such stray shall have been taken up, it shall be the duty of the person taking up such stray, to cause the same to be advertised in manner prescribed by the fourth section of the act to which this is a supplement. And if the owner shall not have appeared within sixty days after such advertisement and publication, the person taking up the same, shall make application to a justice of the peace, and the same proceedings shall be had as are directed by the act to which this is a supplement. And that so much of the act to which this is a supplement as is hereby altered, be, and the same is hereby repealed.



584. Certain animals not permitted to run at large
From and after the passage of this act, no stallion, bull, boar, ram, or jack, shall be permitted to run at large on the public highways of this commonwealth.



585. Impounding such animals
It shall be lawful for any person finding any such animal running at large to have the same impounded, and such impounding advertised within ten days from date of impounding, in one weekly newspaper for two weeks, published nearest the place where such animal is impounded, and if said animal be not reclaimed within twenty days after such advertised notice, by payment of all costs and charges, together with one dollar to the person causing the said animal to be impounded, [it] shall be sold at public sale, and the amount realized from sale, less the said cost and charges, shall be paid to the treasurer of the school district wherein such animal is impounded.





TRESPASSING LIVE STOCK


629. "Live stock" defined
Whenever the words "live stock" are used in this act, they shall include all cattle, horses, sheep, goats and swine of every age and sex, and shall include the plural as well as the singular, and whenever a singular noun is used in this act, it shall include also the plural thereof.



630. Live stock to be taken up; notice to constable
If any person, being either the owner or the tenant of any improved lands within this Commonwealth, shall discover upon his, her, or their improved lands, whether inclosed or not inclosed, any live stock, such person may take up the same; and shall forthwith give notice thereof to the constable of the township, borough or ward in which such lands lie or to any constable of the county, if the constable hereinbefore designated is not available for the purpose at the time, and such constable shall impound such live stock in the possession of the person who originally took up the same or in the possession  of some other person, as such constable may deem best, and the reasonable cost of keeping the same shall be part of the costs of the care.



631. Notice to owner of stock
If the owner of such live stock be known and resides within the county where the trespass has been committed, it shall be the duty of said constable to give written notice to such owner of the fact that such live stock has been impounded, the place where impounded, and the name of the person who has suffered injuries by reason of said trespass, said notice to be served within twenty-four (24) hours after such live stock has been impounded by such constable, said notice to be served according to any of the methods prescribed by the laws of this Commonwealth for the service of a summons in assumpsit.

 

632. Notice to be given by registered mail if owner is not resident of county
If the owner of such live stock be known and does not reside within the county where the trespass has been committed, it shall be the duty of said constable to give written notice to such owner of the fact that such live stock has been impounded, the place where impounded, and the name of the person who has suffered injury by reason of said trespass, said notice to be served by registered mail to be mailed within twenty-four (24) hours after such live stock has been impounded by such constable.

633. Release upon payment of damages
If the owner of any such live stock taken up as aforesaid shall appear and make satisfaction to the party injured for the damages sustained by such trespass, and for the costs of keeping such live stock taken up as aforesaid, and the fees of the constable for the said services as hereinbefore prescribed, within three (3) days after the same were impounded as aforesaid, the said live stock so taken up as aforesaid shall be released to the owner thereof.



634. Failure to make satisfaction; duties of constable and justice of the peace; viewers
If the said owner shall not make satisfaction to the party injured for the damages so sustained, the cost of keeping such live stock and the fees of the constable as hereinbefore stated, it shall be the duty of said constable, on the fourth day after the same were taken up as aforesaid, to complain to any justice of the peace of the county wherein said trespass was committed; and said justice of the peace forthwith shall issue his warrant directed to three (3) disinterested and honest freeholders of the vicinity where the damage was done, commanding and enjoining them forthwith to view the trespass, and value and appraise the same, with the expenses and costs of keeping the said live stock, and to make report thereof to him, the said justice, within five (5) days thereafter, which valuation and appraisement and return, they, the said freeholders, are hereby required to make accordingly.



635. Recovery of possession; payment of costs
The owner of any live stock impounded under the provisions of this act shall have the right, at any time before the same are sold as hereinafter provided, but not afterwards, either to pay all costs then accrued and the amount of the damages awarded in the appraisement made by the viewers and thereby recover possession of his live stock, or to recover possession thereof by an action in replevin in which the person who took up the live stock and caused same to be impounded shall be defendant; and if the judgment in replevin be for the plaintiff, it shall be conditioned upon the plaintiff paying the amount of damages sustained by the party injured, the cost of keeping the live stock while impounded, and the fees of the constable, the justice of the peace, and the three viewers appointed by the justice of the peace to value and appraise said damages. The verdict of the jury shall itemize such costs, fees, and damages. In the event that the verdict returned by the jury in the matter of the damages suffered by the party injured is equal to or greater than the amount claimed by the party so injured, if no viewers have been appointed, or awarded by the viewers, if viewers have been appointed, the costs shall be paid by the plaintiff and the court shall tax, as part of said costs in the replevin case, a reasonable fee for the attorney for the defendant in the replevin case, the amount thereof to be fixed by the court. In the event that the verdict so rendered is less than the amount claimed by the party injured or awarded by the viewers, as the case may be, the costs shall be paid by the plaintiff, but no fee of any kind for the attorney for the defendant shall be taxed as part of said costs.



636. Unredeemed stock to be sold; advertisement of sale; disposition of moneys realized
If the owner shall not redeem said live stock within one (1) day after the return of said viewers shall have been filed with the justice of the peace, it shall be the duty of the said constable to cause an advertisement, either printed or in writing, particularly describing such live stock, to be posted at (6) of the most public places in the vicinity of the property where the damage was done, setting forth a place and a time where the said live stock will be sold at public sale.

At the time and place so fixed, the constable shall proceed to sell said live stock to the highest bidder therefor, unless the owner thereof appears, pays the costs and damages then accrued, or brings action of replevin for the recovery of such live stock. If the constable shall have sold the said live stock, he shall forthwith make a written report thereof to the said justice of the peace, and said justice of the peace shall pay all costs and damages then accrued out of the money realized from said sale, and not less than three nor more than four months after the sale, pay over the surplus, if any there be, to the county treasurer of the county wherein the trespass was committed. If at any time within two years after the sale of the live stock herein provided for, the owner thereof appears and submits proof of his ownership satisfactory to the officer having said surplus, the said surplus shall be paid to him either by the justice of the peace or by the county treasurer depending upon which of such officers has such surplus in his possession at the time. In the event that the amount of the sale is less than the amount of the costs and damages then accrued, the costs shall first be paid out of the same, and the balance applied upon the damages awarded to the party injured in the appraisement made by the viewers, and in the event that the amount is not sufficient to pay the costs, the same shall be divided pro rata among the persons entitled to said costs. The costs shall include the costs of the constable, of the justice of the peace, of the three viewers, and the expenses of keeping such live stock while impounded.

637. Fees
The fees of the constable for the services contemplated by this act shall be one ($1.00) dollar for each animal impounded, for the impounding thereof; two ($2.00) dollars for each animal sold, for his services in the sale thereof: Provided, however, That in no one case shall the fees of the constable for impounding and selling amount to more than four ($4.00) dollars. The fees of the justice of the peace shall be one ($1.00) dollar for each case, without regard to the number of animals impounded, for all cases where no sale is made; and three ($3.00) dollars for all cases where a sale is made. The fees of each of the viewers appointed to assess the damages shall be one ($1.00) dollar for the first hour and fifty (50) cents per hour for each hour necessarily engaged after the first hour.


TITLE 29. FENCES
CHAPTER 2. ERECTION OF FENCES
LAWFUL FENCES


31. Road fences of wire with or without barbs
It shall and is hereby declared to be lawful for any land owner within this Commonwealth to construct, build and maintain, along any of the highways of this Commonwealth, fences made in whole or in part of wire, with or without barbs, subject at all times to such restrictions and prohibitions as may be imposed by the municipal authorities relative thereto.


32. Wire fences, with or without barbs, declared legal
A fence, in whole or in part of wire, with or without barbs, is hereby declared to be a legal and lawful fence, within the meaning and provisions of any act of the Legislature of this State relative to the building, constructing and maintaining of line fences, provided that such wire fence shall be of the height required by such act or acts. All statutes and parts of statutes inconsistent herewith be and the same are hereby repealed.

 

ERECTION OF DIVISION FENCES


41. Division fences; proceedings to compel erection or part payment
From and after the passage of this act, owners of improved and occupied land shall erect and maintain an equal part of all line or division fences between them, nor shall any such owner be relieved from liability under the provisions of this act except by the consent of the adjoining owner. And if any owner of such improved and occupied land shall fail or neglect to erect or maintain his, her, or their share of such line or division fence the party aggrieved shall notify the county surveyor or, if there is no county surveyor in the county, then a county surveyor of any adjoining county, or, if the county surveyor in any adjoining county refuses to act, a surveyor appointed by a judge of the court of common pleas, who shall act as a fence viewer and whose duty it shall be to examine such line or division fence, so complained of; and if he finds said fence sufficient, the complainant shall pay the cost of his service; but if he finds such fence insufficient, he shall so report to a justice of the peace or alderman, residing in the county where such fence is located, designating points and distances of such fence, whether a new fence is required or whether the old one can be repaired, and the probable costs of a new, or the repair of the old, fence; and said justice or alderman shall notify the delinquent owner of such improved and occupied land of the surveyor's report, and that his part of said fence, as found by the surveyor, be erected or repaired within forty days from the date of such notice; and if such notice be not complied with, the aggrieved party may cause said line or division fence to be erected or repaired, and the costs thereof collected, including the charge of the surveyor, from the delinquent owner of such improved and occupied land, as other debts are collected by law. The surveyor shall be entitled to such payment for acting as a fence viewer as he may fix, not, however, exceeding twenty-five dollars. Where the surveyor reports that he finds the fence complained of sufficient, the amount payable to the surveyor shall be paid by the complainant, but where he reports the fence insufficient, the amount payable to him shall be paid by the delinquent owner of such improved or occupied land: Provided, That no owner of improved land shall be compelled to build or repair fence during the months of December, January, February, and March: And provided further, That nothing herein contained shall be construed to apply to railroad companies.


42. Where owner improves up to division fence
Where an owner has improved up to and erected upon the line a division fence, and an adjoining owner subsequently improves and occupies up to said line, he shall become liable to the former for such part of the cost of said fence as is just and reasonable, taking into consideration the quantity of the fence, the length of time it had been erected, and its condition. And in case the parties fail to agree on the amount to be paid, the owner who erected said fence may complain to the surveyor aforesaid, who shall assess the amount which, in his opinion, the other party should pay; which amount, together with payment to the surveyor, as in section one provided, may be recovered as provided in section one of this act.


Reviewed by AAHS in December 2001.


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