University of Vermont AAHS

Wyoming Livestock Laws

 

WYOMING STATUTES ANNOTATED
TITLE 11. AGRICULTURE, LIVESTOCK AND OTHER ANIMALS CHAPTER 20. BRANDS ARTICLE 1. BRANDING AND RANGING

 

11-20-101. Definitions
(a) As used in this act:

(i) "Agency" means the corporation, if any, designated by the board as its authorized representative to carry out the functions to be performed by the board and if there is no such agency, then it means the board;

(ii) "Board" means the Wyoming livestock board;

(iii) "Inspectors" means those persons appointed by the agency to execute the duties prescribed by law, rules, regulations and orders for the protection of the livestock industry in Wyoming;

(iv) "Livestock" means cattle, horses, mules, asses and sheep. The board acting in conjunction with the game and fish commission may designate individual bison or identifiable herds of bison as wildlife;

(v) "Stock drover" means any person driving livestock through any county in Wyoming;

(vi) "Stock owner" means any person who owns livestock;

(vii) "This act" means W.S. 11-19-101 through 11-19- 506, 11-20-101 through 11-24-115 and 11-30-101 through 11- 30-112;

(viii) "Brand" means a brand, mark or other board approved means of identification including any electronic device used for livestock identification.


11-20-102. Stock running at large to be branded
Every stock owner allowing his livestock over six (6) months old to run at large or mingle with livestock other than his own, shall brand his livestock with his recorded brand.


11-20-103 Brands; application; contents; recording fees; disposition thereof.
(a) Any person desiring to adopt any brand to be used to brand livestock in this state, shall before using the brand make application to the Wyoming livestock board. The application shall:
(i) Contain a facsimile or a description of the brand;
(ii) State the species of livestock for which the brand is to be used;
(iii) State the place on the animal where the brand will be applied, and
whether it is to be applied with hot iron, paint, tattoo or other means;
(iv) Repealed by Laws 1996, ch. 25, 2.

(b) The application shall be accompanied by a recording fee of one hundred dollars ($100.00) for the first species of livestock and fifty dollars ($50.00) for each additional species of livestock for which the brand is to be used. A certified copy of the recorded brand shall be given to the owner. All fees collected shall be deposited into the account created by W.S. 11-20-405.


11-20-104. Brands; recording generally
Upon receipt of the application and fee the brand shall be recorded in the state brand record. If the brand has been previously recorded the executive officer of the board shall suggest a brand that can be recorded. The executive officer of the board shall not record any brand which in his opinion would conflict with any brand of record.



11-20-105. Brands; extension to other species
If a recorded brand is used exclusively for the identification of a particular species of livestock, the executive officer of the board may record the identical brand in the name of another person to identify his ownership of a species of livestock other than the species for which the brand is presently recorded.


11-20-106. Brands; sheep; districts created; recording thereof
To increase the quantity of brands which can be effectively used for the identification of sheep, the executive officer of the board may, with the advice of the executive committee of the Wyoming wool growers association, promulgate and enforce rules and regulations necessary to divide the land area of Wyoming into districts. The districts shall be made a part of such brands and recorded in the state record as further identification of sheep.


11-20-107. Brands; records kept by board; inspection thereof
The board shall keep an accurate record of all certified livestock brands, the names of the owners and their post office addresses, which shall be open to public inspection.


11-20-108. Recorded brand; certified copy deemed prima facie evidence of ownership
A certified copy of any brand recorded in the office of the board is prima facie evidence of ownership of animals branded therewith for that species of livestock recorded by the board. The brand shall be received as evidence of ownership in all legal proceedings involving title to the animal.



11-20-109 Recorded brand; considered as property; subject to sale; written instrument required; acknowledgment and recording.
Any brand recorded as required by law is the property of the person in whose name it is recorded, and is subject to sale, assignment, transfer, devise and descent as personal property. Instruments of writing evidencing sale, assignment or transfer shall be acknowledged and recorded in the office of the board. Acknowledgment and recording of such instruments have the same effect as to third parties as the acknowledgment and recording of instruments affecting real estate.


11-20-110 Recorded brand; bill of sale; when title vests.
Any recorded brand may be conveyed to another by a bill of sale executed by the vendor, properly acknowledged, but the conveyance is not complete nor does title to the brand vest in the vendee until the bill of sale is filed for
record in the office of the board.


11-20-111. State brand book; contents
The executive officer of the board shall procure a suitable book, to be known as the state brand book, in which shall be recorded the brand and the definite place of the brand upon the animal, used for the branding of livestock in this state.


11-20-112 Brand book; publication; form and contents; distribution of copies; monthly lists and biennial supplements; costs; disposition of proceeds.
The board shall publish a brand book containing facsimiles or descriptions of all brands recorded in Wyoming together with the owner's name and address. The names and brands shall be arranged in the most convenient form for reference. Copies of the brand book and copies of subsequent supplements shall be given to the agency. At the end of each month, the board shall prepare lists of the brands recorded during that month and shall issue biennial supplements to the brand book which shall supersede and cumulate the monthly lists issued during the biennium. The board may publish and sell brand books, lists and
supplements. The proceeds from the sales shall be deposited in the account created by W.S. 11-20-405.


11-20-113. County clerk prohibited from recording brands
It is unlawful for any county clerk in this state to record any brand or bill of sale of any brand.


11-20-114. Use of unrecorded or abandoned brand prohibited; failure to record deemed abandonment
No person shall claim or own any brand which has not been recorded in the office of the Wyoming livestock board. Failure to record a brand is an abandonment of the same. No person shall claim or use any abandoned brand until after he has caused the same to be recorded as required by law.


11-20-115. Rerecording; when required; notice; abandonment
(a) Every tenth year after recording a brand, every owner of a brand shall rerecord the brand, and failure to do so is an abandonment of the brand. At least sixty (60) days preceding the expiration date of the brand, the board shall notify by mail, at the address shown on the brand records, the party owning the brand that the brand must be rerecorded and if the brand has not been rerecorded within sixty (60) days from the expiration date of the brand will be declared abandoned and will be allowed to other applicants.

(b) Effective January 1, 1995, every owner of a brand shall rerecord the brand. The term of the rerecording period and the renewal fee shall be established by the board but shall not exceed the fee established by W.S. 11-20-116 and the term shall not exceed the term established by this section.

(c) After the rerecording periods established by the board under subsection (b) of this section, every owner of a brand shall rerecord the brand every ten (10) years and shall pay the reneal fee specified by W.S. 11-20-116.


11-20-116 Fees for renewal, transfer of ownership or alteration of brand; recording bill of sale deemed renewal.
(a) For renewing any brand previously recorded and issuing a certificate of renewal, the board shall charge eighty dollars ($80.00). The fee shall cover any additional species of livestock for which the brand was previously recorded.

(b) For recording a bill of sale or other instrument transferring ownership of a recorded brand and issuing a certificate of transfer, fifty dollars ($50.00) shall be charged for each recorded brand.

(c) The recording of a bill of sale or other instrument transferring ownership of a recorded brand during any renewal period shall not serve as a renewal of the brand. Transfer of ownership and renewal of a brand are separate transactions, for each of which the appropriate fee will be collected.

(d) Repealed by Laws 1996, ch. 25, 2.

(e) The fees collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the account created by W.S. 11-20-405.



11-20-117. Unrecorded duplicate brands prohibited; penalties
(a) It is unlawful for any person in Wyoming to identify livestock with a brand not recorded in his name when the brand is a duplicate of or in conflict with any brand lawfully recorded in Wyoming for the same species of livestock.

(b) Anyone violating subsection (a) of this section shall be punished as provided in W.S. 11-1-103.


11-20-118. Drover's stock; to be kept separate
Every stock drover shall keep his livestock separate and distinct from other livestock, and if his livestock becomes mixed with other livestock the stock drover shall forthwith separate the same.


11-20-119. Drover's stock; liability for injury to property; exceptions
Every stock drover shall prevent his livestock from trespassing upon the property of another and from damaging any irrigating ditch or public works. No drover or other person who in good faith removes or attempts to remove livestock from any road, highway or right-of-way is liable for any civil damages for acts or omissions in good faith.


11-20-120. Driving cattle from home range
It is unlawful for any person to drive livestock away from its home range without authority from the owner of the livestock.


11-20-121. Penalties for failure to comply with certain provisions
Any person violating or failing to comply with the provisions of W.S. 11-20-102, 11-20-110 or 11-20-118 through 11-20-120 shall be imprisoned in the county jail not exceeding six (6) months, or fined not less than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) or more than five hundred dollars ($500.00), or both.


11-20-123. Number of bulls required on open range; qualifications; penalties
Any person allowing or permitting cows, of which he is the owner, or agent of the owner, to run at large upon the public ranges of the state, shall provide and furnish at least one (1) bull to turn on range, not later than July 1 of each year and to take said bull off range not later than January 1 of the following year, of not less than eighteen (18) months of age, of registered or purebred, of the beef breeds, except in communities where dairy cows predominate, for every twenty-five (25) head she cattle one (1) year of age or over, or fraction thereof, over ten (10) head, so permitted to run at large in this state. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each offense.


11-20-124. Bison considered livestock to be branded
Bison which are considered to be livestock shall be branded by the owner with his livestock brand which is registered in the state of Wyoming.

 

CHAPTER 24. ESTRAYS

 

11-24-101. Definitions
(a) As used in this act:

(i) "Animal" means any bovine animal, horse, mule, ass or sheep;

(ii) "Estray" means any animal found running at large upon public or private lands, fenced or unfenced, in Wyoming whose owner is unknown in the territory where found or the owner of which cannot with reasonable diligence be found, or that is branded with two (2) or more brands the ownership of which is disputed, neither party holding a bill of sale. An estray includes any animal for which there is no sufficient proof of ownership found upon inspection;

(iii) "Range" means all unfenced lands or fenced allotments in Wyoming of a grazing nature. Range includes all highways outside of private enclosures and used by the public whether formally dedicated to the public or not;

(iv) "This act" means W.S. 11-24-101 through 11-24- 115.


11-24-102. Taking up estrays; generally
(a) No person shall take up and retain possession of an estray except in the county where he resides and is a freeholder, nor unless the animal is found on lands owned, leased, or controlled by him or his duly authorized agents. When any person takes up an estray he shall immediately notify an inspector who shall inspect or cause to be inspected the estray for brands and other evidence of ownership and make a diligent effort to learn or determine ownership of the animal. The inspector may cause any estray to be held for not more than ten (10) days after the inspection at a total expense of not more than fifty cents ($.50) per day to enable him to complete his investigation of ownership. If the estray is claimed by an owner, the bill for feed and care incurred by the inspector must be paid by the claimant. If the rightful owner cannot be found, or when found, refuses or fails to pay the charges for feed and care of the estray, the inspector shall order the estray sent to the most feasible convenient public market designated by the inspector to be sold. Incurred charges for feed and care by the inspector and reasonable shipping and sales expense shall be paid from the proceeds of sale. The net proceeds, if any, received from the sale of the estray after deduction of authorized expenses, shall be forwarded to the estray fund of the board or its agency. The board or agency shall hold the proceeds in a special fund known as estray fund until paid to the rightful owner of the estray or otherwise disposed of according to law.

(b) If the proceeds of sale of any estray are insufficient to pay all legitimate expenses, the deficit shall be paid by the board or its agency.


11-24-103. Taking up estrays; penalties
Any person who takes up or retains possession of any estray without the owner's
knowledge or consent, or who in any manner restrains from liberty for the purpose of using or making use of any estray without the knowledge and consent of the owner, is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than ten dollars ($10.00) nor more than one hundred dollars ($100.00), imprisoned for not exceeding sixty (60) days, or both.


11-24-104. Stallions and jacks generally
If any horse or ass not gelded, two (2) years old or upwards, is found running at large, it is lawful for any person to take up the horse or ass and give notice to the owner or keeper if known. If the owner or keeper does not appear within six (6) days thereafter and pay thirty dollars ($30.00) to the person possessing the animal, the person shall advertise the horse or ass and the same proceedings shall be had as provided in the case of estray animals, or the person possessing the animal may after the expiration of thirty (30) days from the time of advertising, geld or have the horse or ass gelded, at the risk and expense of the owner, except when the horse or ass is in the owner's herd, or in care of the owner's herder.


11-24-105. Unclaimed horses; permit for gathering; disposal
(a) Any person desiring to gather unclaimed horses from the ranges within Wyoming must obtain written permission before commencing to do so. The permit must be obtained from the person who has ownership or control of the surface rights of the range whereon the unclaimed horses are to be gathered. The permit shall be presented to an inspector and used for the basis for issuance of any brand inspection permit for removal of the unclaimed horses from the county wherein the unclaimed horses are gathered. The form of the permit shall be prescribed by the board.

(b) Unclaimed horses shall be disposed of under the laws pertaining to estrays.


11-24-106. Unclaimed horses; penalties
Any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of W.S. 11-24-105 shall be punished as provided in W.S. 11- 1-103.


11-24-107. Liability for death
If any estray dies while in the possession of the person taking it up, he is not liable for the loss unless its death was the result of mistreatment or willful neglect.


11-24-108 Stock at large or picketed on public highways; penalties for violations; impoundment and disposition; fees; proceeds from sale thereof; removal of dead or injured animals.
(a) No owner or person having custody or charge of livestock shall permit the livestock to run at large in any fenced public highways in Wyoming as defined in W.S. 31-1-101. Livestock shall not be picketed on a public highway right-of-way from one (1) hour before sundown to one (1) hour after sunrise. If livestock are picketed on a public highway and escape, the owner or person having custody or charge of the livestock is deemed to have permitted the livestock to run at large in violation of this section. No livestock shall be picketed on an interstate or national defense highway as defined in W.S. 31-5-1001(a)(xv) [31-18-801(a)(xvi)].

(b) Any person or corporation violating this section shall be fined not less than fifty dollars ($50.00) nor more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00) and in addition shall pay all damage done by the livestock. The provisions of this section do not apply to livestock drifting into lanes or fenced roads in going to or returning from their accustomed ranges.

(c) Any sheriff, deputy sheriff, livestock brand inspector, or officer or trooper of the Wyoming highway patrol, after notification to the owner of livestock described in subsection (a) of this section, if known, shall within four (4) hours remove the livestock from the public highway, impound the same in the nearest convenient place where feed and water are available and immediately notify the owner, if known, of the action. If ownership is not known, the impounding officer shall report his action to an inspector. The inspector shall make a diligent effort to ascertain ownership of the impounded
livestock, and for this purpose may hold the livestock not more than ten (10) days. If unable to determine ownership, the inspector shall ship the impounded livestock to the nearest available market to be sold as estrays. Reasonable
transportation and sales expenses shall be paid from the proceeds of the sale.

(d) A removal fee of not to exceed ten dollars ($10.00) per head shall be allowed for the expense incurred in removing livestock from any public highway and an impounding fee of not to exceed five dollars ($5.00) per day per head shall be allowed the person responsible for feed and care of the livestock removed. The inspector is responsible for collection and payment to the rightful claimants of removal and impounding fees when impounded livestock is surrendered to the owner. Upon shipment to a market, the total amount of removal and impounding fees shall be made known to the selling agency at the market by the inspector and shall constitute a first claim on the net proceeds of the livestock after shipping and sales expenses have been paid, and shall be forwarded by the selling agency to the claimant.

(e) Should the proceeds of sale of any impounded animal be insufficient to pay all legitimate shipping and sales expenses and the removal and impounding fees approved by the inspector, the deficit shall be paid by the board or its agency.

(f) The net proceeds, if any, from sale of the impounded livestock after deduction of removal, impounding, trucking and sale expenses, shall be forwarded to the estray account of the board. The board shall hold the proceeds until paid to the rightful owner of the livestock or otherwise disposed of according to law.

(g) A peace officer may remove, destroy or otherwise dispose of an animal injured on a state highway after a reasonable attempt to locate the owner of a salvageable animal or a game warden in the case of a wild animal. If reasonably
possible, the peace officer shall contact the brand inspector before removing, destroying or disposing of livestock. The carcass of an animal killed on a state highway shall be disposed of by highway maintenance crews. If the owner
desires, he may claim the carcass from the maintenance crew. The crews shall report to the inspector brands, marks, tags or other identification. The inspector shall endeavor to establish ownership of the animal and notify the owner in writing or notify the local game warden as may be appropriate.


11-24-109. Record to be kept of estrays found in shipments in transit of cattle or horses
All inspectors shall keep a record of all estrays found in any shipment of cattle or horses in transit from this state, and shall take a receipt for the estrays from the shipper, or in default of a receipt, shall take the estray from the shipment, giving the shipper a receipt for the estrays on behalf of the livestock board.


11-24-110. Monthly report of inspector; board to keep public record
The inspector shall make a report every thirty (30) days of all estrays not otherwise reported to the livestock board, giving a description of the estrays, stating any brands or other marks by which the estrays may be identified. The board shall keep a record of all estrays reported, which shall at all times be open to the public for inspection.


11-24-111. Disposition of sales proceeds; remission to board
All persons shipping estrays shall immediately remit to the livestock board the proceeds received for each and every estray sold, a receipt for which was given to an inspector. If any inspector sells an estray from this state, he shall immediately remit the proceeds to the livestock board.


11-24-112. Deposition of sales proceeds; payment to owner on proof of ownership; unclaimed proceeds generally
If the lawful owner of any estray sold is found within one (1) year after sale of the estray, the net amount received from the sale less one dollar ($1.00) for each estray, to be retained by the livestock board, shall be paid to the owner upon his proving ownership to the satisfaction of the board or agency. If at the end of one (1) year the proceeds from the sale of any estray remains unclaimed, the proceeds shall be disposed of as provided by law.


11-24-113. When shipping prohibited
It is unlawful for any person to drive or ship, or cause to be driven or shipped, or to consign or cause to be consigned, without authority from the owner, any estray from any place within this state, except through or to a point or place where an inspector or inspectors are located by the livestock board.


11-24-114. Publication of list of unclaimed estrays
The executive officer of the livestock board shall annually, during the last week of December, send two (2) lists of unclaimed estrays for which he has received payments, to the county clerk of each county, who shall post one (1) copy in a conspicuous place in the courthouse and place one (1) copy on file in his office. The executive officer shall also cause to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in each county from which any estray included in the list was shipped, a notice to the public that the list of estrays is available for examination.


11-24-115. Disposition of unclaimed proceeds to state treasurer to credit of inspection account
On the first Monday in January of each year, all estray monies remaining unclaimed for more than one (1) year after the publication of the notices of posting of lists of unclaimed estrays, shall be paid to the treasurer of the state, and be placed to the credit of the inspection account within the earmarked revenue fund.

 

CHAPTER 28. FENCES AND CATTLE GUARDS

 

11-28-101. Who considered owner
Any person occupying, using, enjoying, maintaining or having the charge of any enclosure shall be considered the owner
thereof, in any action commenced under the provisions of W.S. 11-28-101 through 11-28-108.


11-28-102. Lawful fences generally
(a) The following are lawful fences in this state:

(i) A fence made of steel, concrete or sound wooden posts and three (3) spans of barbed wire not more than fifteen (15) inches or less than ten (10) inches apart, or two (2) spans of barbed wire with a wooden rail on top. Wooden posts shall be at least four (4) inches in diameter. Posts shall be set firmly in the ground at least twenty (20) inches deep, at no greater distance apart than twenty-two (22) feet between the posts or thirty-three (33) feet with at least two (2) iron or wooden stays between the posts. Stays shall be placed equal distance apart from themselves and the post on either side;

(ii) A post and board fence made of sound posts not less than four (4) inches in diameter set substantially in the ground not more than ten (10) feet apart, with three (3) boards sold as one (1) inch lumber eight (8) inches wide, and not more than ten (10) inches apart, or four (4) boards sold as one (1) inch lumber six (6) inches wide, not more than eight (8) inches apart, securely fastened with nails or otherwise;

(iii) A four (4) pole fence with round poles not less than two (2) inches in diameter at the small end, with either upright or leaning posts not more than sixteen (16) feet apart, and securely fastened with nails, wires or otherwise.

(b) All other fences made and constructed of boards, rails, poles, stones, hedge plants or other material which upon evidence is declared to be as strong and well calculated to protect enclosures, and is as effective for resisting breaching stock as those described in subsection (a) of this section, shall be considered a lawful fence.

(c) Any fence enclosing any hay corral situated outside of any field or pasture enclosed by a lawful fence, shall be at least six (6) feet high, constructed of boards, poles or wire. The posts shall not be more than eight (8) feet apart and set twenty-four (24) inches in the ground. If the fence is constructed of barbed wire there shall be at least seven (7) spans of wire, and all wires shall be kept properly stretched. Any fence better than the above described fence is a lawful fence.


11-28-103. Constructing of unlawful wire fence; liability and penalty; reconstruction required; penalty for failure
(a) Any person who constructs or maintains any unlawful wire fence contrary to this act [ss 11-28-101 through 11-28- 108], is liable in a civil action for all damages to animals that may occur by reason of the unlawful enclosure. The owner of any unlawful wire fence is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than five dollars ($5.00) nor more than twenty-five dollars ($25.00), and for each subsequent offense the fine shall not be less than twenty- five dollars ($25.00) nor more than one hundred dollars ($100.00).

(b) The owner of any unlawful wire fence shall, within thirty (30) days after conviction, reconstruct the wire fence into a lawful wire fence. If he fails or refuses to do so, the owner is guilty of a separate offense and on conviction thereof, shall be punished as provided in subsection (a) of this section. Each period of thirty (30) days thereafter that the owner refuses or neglects to reconstruct the unlawful fence is a separate offense and the owner is subject to like punishment.


11-28-104. Fences across roads generally
All fences constructed across a road leading to a watering place, or constructed across any road used as a public road, shall at the point where the fence intersects or crosses the road be constructed of boards or poles extending not less than eight (8) feet on each side of the middle of the road. The owner of any fence that violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished as provided in W.S. 11-28-103(a).


11-28-105. Board of county commissioners to authorize lawful fences upon right-of-way
The board of county commissioners may authorize the erection of a lawful fence upon the right-of-way of any public road at the expense of the petitioners for the establishment of the roads, or as may be agreed upon between petitioners and the board of county commissioners, or at the expense of the owners of lands to be benefited by the fencing or at the expense of the county, as the board of county commissioners may determine. The board shall locate and cause to be constructed gates and cattle guards at such intervals as it deems necessary for the convenience of the public. Cattle guards shall be constructed according to specification prescribed by the state highway department, under the supervision of the county surveyor or county commissioners at the expense of the petitioners, the land owners who may be benefited, or the county as the board of county commissioners may determine.


11-28-106. Construction and maintenance of partition fences
The owner of any lawful fence which is or becomes a partition fence separating the owner's land from that belonging to some other person may require the person to pay for one-half ( 1/2) of what it would or does actually cost to construct the partition fence. In case of refusal, the owner may maintain a civil action against the person refusing and is entitled to recover one-half (1/2) of what it would or did actually cost to construct that portion of the partition fence used by the person and costs of suit. The joint users of a partition fence shall contribute to the cost of maintenance in proportion to their respective interests and if either refuses to pay his share of the cost of maintenance, the other may recover maintenance costs in the manner provided for recovering the cost of construction.


11-28-107. Prohibited acts; penalties
Any person who willfully or negligently leaves open, breaks down or destroys any bars or gate provided for the use and convenience of the public, or willfully tears down, throws down or destroys in any manner any lawful fence, is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars ($100.00), or imprisoned not more than three (3) months, or both.


11-28-108. Liability for breach into lawful enclosure by horses; civil action or arbitration
(a) Any person owning or having in his possession or charge any horses, mules or cattle which breach into any lawful enclosure belonging to someone other than the owner of the animal, is liable to the party sustaining the injury for all damages sustained by reason of such breaching. Damages may be recovered in a civil action before any court having jurisdiction, or by arbitration, each party to select a property holder and the two (2) arbitrators to select a third. The arbitrators shall be sworn before a justice of the peace or judge of a county court before entering upon their duties. The arbitrators shall carefully examine the fence and assess the damage done, examine witnesses under oath, one (1) of them to administer the oath to the witnesses, and make a written report signed by at least two (2) of the arbitrators, to any justice of the peace or county court in the county in which the damage is sustained. The finding of the arbitration, as provided for in this section, shall within three (3) days after rendered, be filed with any justice of the peace or judge of a county court in the county where the trespass was committed, who shall enter the cost upon his docket and proceed to issue execution therein as in other cases originally commenced before him.

(b) The party sustaining the damage shall notify the owner or person having in charge the offending animals, of the damage and the probable amount if he knows to whom the animals belong and if the owner or keeper resides within the county where the damage was committed.

(c) The person suffering damage may restrain and keep in custody as many of the offending animals as are equal in value to the damage done, until the finding of the court or arbitration is ascertained, unless before suit the amount of his claim and expense of keeping the animals is tendered to him.

(d) If, upon trial of any action under subsection (a) of this section, it appears the plaintiff's enclosure is a lawful fence, he shall be allowed to prove the amount of damage sustained and if he has retained in custody the animals committing the damage, the amount of expense incurred for keeping the animals. Any judgment rendered for damages, costs and expenses against the defendant shall be a lien upon the animals committing the damage. If it appears upon trial that the plaintiff's enclosure is not a lawful fence or that no damage was sustained, judgment shall be rendered against the plaintiff for costs of suit and damages sustained by defendant.

(e) If upon trial it appears the defendant is not the owner or person in charge of the offending animals, he shall be discharged from the action with his costs, and the suit may proceed against a defendant whose name is unknown. If, at the commencement of the action, the plaintiff does not know the name of the owner or keeper of the offending animals, he may bring suit against a defendant unknown.

 

CHAPTER 33. LIVESTOCK DISTRICTS

 

11-33-101. Creation; generally; applicable provisions
The board of county commissioners of each county in the state may create livestock districts within any irrigation district organized under the irrigation district laws of this state as hereinafter provided. When a district is created, W.S. 11-33-101 through 11-33-109 apply and are enforceable therein.


11-33-102. Creation; landowners' petition; contents
At least seventy-five percent (75%) of the landowners owning at least seventy-five percent (75%) of the land in any irrigation district organized under the irrigation district laws of Wyoming and who are resident in and qualified electors of Wyoming, may petition the board of county commissioners in writing to create a livestock district. The petition shall describe the boundaries of the proposed livestock district and shall designate what animals are to be prohibited from running at large or from being grazed upon the public highways in the district and may designate the period of the year during which it is desired to prohibit animals from running at large or being grazed on the highways.


11-33-103. Creation; landowners' petition; notice of hearing
Within twenty (20) days after a petition has been filed, the board of county commissioners shall set a date for hearing the petition. Notice of the hearing shall be given by posting notices in three (3) conspicuous places in the proposed livestock district and by publication for two (2) weeks previous to the hearing in a newspaper published in the county nearest the proposed livestock district.


11-33-104. Creation; order; contents and force
At the hearing, if satisfied that at least seventy-five percent (75%) of the landowners owning at least seventy-five percent (75%) of the land in the proposed livestock district who are resident in and qualified electors of Wyoming are in favor of the enforcement of the livestock law and that it would be beneficial to the district, the board of county commissioners shall make an order creating the livestock district in accordance with the prayer of the petition or with such modifications as it may choose to make. The order shall specify a certain time at which it takes effect which shall be at least thirty (30) days after the making of the order. The order shall continue in force until vacated or modified by the board of county commissioners upon the petition of seventy-five percent (75%) of the landowners owning seventy-five percent (75%) of the land in the district who are resident in and qualified electors of Wyoming.


11-33-105. Creation; order; mandatory condition of fences
The board of county commissioners shall provide as a condition in any order creating a livestock district that the livestock district shall be enclosed by a lawful fence and that any road extending from the livestock district shall contain cattle guards or gates at such places and of such nature as the board prescribes. The board of county commissioners shall make its livestock district orders inapplicable to cattle, horses, sheep or mules straying into the livestock district until the district is enclosed by lawful fence and cattle guards or gates are installed.


11-33-106. Extent of jurisdiction
W.S. 11-33-101 and 11-33-105 do not confer upon the board of county commissioners any jurisdiction over animals otherwise prohibited from running at large under existing laws.


11-33-107. Violation of order deemed misdemeanor; subsequent violations
Any person who in violation of any order made pursuant to W.S. 11-33-104, permits or allows any of the animals designated in the order, owned by him or under his control, to run at large in the district or to be grazed on the highway, is guilty of a misdemeanor. The pendency of any action shall not prevent nor prejudice the bringing of another action against the same party for a violation of the order committed after the commencement of the pending action.


11-33-108. Liability of animal owners; lien on and custody of animals
The owner of animals permitted or allowed to run at large, or herded in violation of any order made in accordance with W.S. 11-33-104 is liable to any person who suffers damage from the depredations or trespasses of the animals, without regard to the condition of his fence. The person damaged shall have a lien upon the animals for the amount of damage done and the cost of the proceedings to recover damages, and may take the animals into custody until all damages are paid. The person taking the animals into custody may not retain the animals for more than five (5) days without commencing an action against the owner for damages.


11-33-109. Duty of person taking custody of animals
Any person may take into custody any of the animals specified in the order of the board of county commissioners that may be about to commit a trespass upon the premises owned, occupied or in charge of the person and retain the animals until all reasonable charges for keeping the animals are paid. The person taking the animals into custody shall notify the owner or person in charge of the animals within five (5) days thereafter. If the owner or person in charge of the animals is not known to the person taking the animals into custody, and cannot be found after diligent inquiry, he may proceed in the manner provided for the taking up and disposal of estrays.

 

TITLE 24. HIGHWAYS CHAPTER 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

24-1-124. Livestock crossings; generally
The department of transportation may provide suitable livestock crossings on all state highways, having an oil surface, in the state of Wyoming, at places where necessity and convenience require. Ranchmen, farmers and livestock raisers and producers may file with the board of county commissioners of their county a request for livestock crossings, and the various boards of county commissioners shall recommend from time to time to the department of transportation such crossings as they believe will best suit the necessities and convenience of ranchmen, farmers and livestock raisers and producers in their county.

 

TITLE 30. MINES AND MINERALS CHAPTER 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

30-1-123. Protection of livestock from mining shafts, etc
Every person, persons, company or corporation, who have already sunk mining shafts, pits, holes, inclines, upon any mining claim, or upon any mineral property, ground or premises, or who may hereafter sink such openings aforesaid, shall forthwith secure such shafts and openings against the injury or destruction of livestock running at large upon the public domain, by securely covering such shafts and other openings as aforesaid, in a manner to render them safe against the possibility of livestock falling into them or in any manner becoming injured or destroyed thereby; or by forthwith making a strong, secure and ample fence around such shafts and other openings aforesaid. Any person, persons, corporation or company who shall fail or refuse to fully comply with the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof shall be subject to imprisonment in a county jail for not more than ninety (90) days or fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100.00) or both such imprisonment and fine in the discretion of the court imposing sentence. Any person, persons, corporation or company who shall fail or refuse to fully comply with the provisions of this section shall also be liable to the owner thereof for any damages sustained by injury or loss of livestock thereby.

 

TITLE 37. PUBLIC UTILITIES CHAPTER 9. RAILROADS ARTICLE 3. FIREGUARDS; FENCES; INJURIES TO STOCK

 

37-9-304. Fences and cattle guards; generally
All railway corporations, owning or operating a line of railway within the state, shall construct, maintain and keep in repair
on each side of the track thereof, a sufficient fence, so connected with suitable cattle guards at all public road crossings as to prevent stock from getting on the railroad track of said corporation, and such fence when of barb wire to consist of four (4) wires securely fastened to posts set not more than thirty-two (32) feet apart, with stays not more than ten (10) feet apart. Such fence shall be constructed within nine (9) months after the completion of any railroad track or any part thereof; provided, that railway corporations shall not be required to construct and maintain a fence within the boundaries of any incorporated city or town.


37-9-305. Fences and cattle guards; liability for damages
Any corporation operating a railway and failing to fence the same and to construct and maintain suitable cattle guards as required by the preceding section [s 37-9-304], shall be liable to the owner or owners of any livestock killed or injured by reason of its failure to construct or keep in repair such fence or cattle guard in the manner provided in the preceding section, for the full amount of the damage sustained by the owner on account thereof and to make a prima facie case for recovery, it shall only be necessary for such owner to prove the loss or injury to his property; provided, that no corporation operating a railroad shall be liable for any damage occasioned by the wilful act of the owner or of his agent or employees or for stock killed or injured on public road crossings unless negligence on the part of such corporation, its agents, servants or employees can be shown.

37-9-306. Injury to stock; definitions
For the purpose of this act [ss 37-9-306 to 37-9-308] the terms "livestock" and "stock" shall include all classes of horses, asses, mules, neat cattle, sheep and swine.


37-9-309 Payment of claims; time; interest; costs.
(a) Any railroad corporation liable for the payment of claims for damages from fire and livestock killed or injured shall either pay or reject the claim within sixty (60) days after notice and evidence of the claim is furnished by the claimant. All claims shall include information necessary for the railroad to verify property damage, value of property damages, and propriety of claim with all supporting bills, when available. Claims shall not be deemed filed until the information has been received by the railroad. A claim which is not rejected or paid within sixty (60) days shall be deemed granted and shall
constitute a lien upon the property of the railroad. Claims which are unpaid after sixty (60) days shall draw interest at the rate of eighteen percent (18% ) per annum until paid, whether voluntarily or by court judgment and order.

(b) With respect to any property damage caused by a railroad, the court shall order the railroad corporation to pay the reasonable attorney fees and court costs incurred by a property owner if the court finds that the railroad corporation did not negotiate in good faith to establish the reasonable value of damages caused to the property owner by the railroad, or if the property owner was required to initiate legal proceedings against the railroad corporation to enforce a judgment for damages.


37-9-307. Injury to stock; notice to owner; procedure if owner unknown

Any such corporation injuring or killing any livestock, by running any engine, car or cars, over or against any such livestock, shall within ten (10) days thereafter, notify the owner or owners of such livestock, so killed or injured, of the fact; provided, that if the ownership of such stock so killed or injured, is unknown, such corporation shall file in the office of the county clerk of the county in which such livestock was so killed or injured, a full description, including the number, classes and brands, of such livestock, naming the locality where such stock was so killed or injured; and such corporation shall also cause a notice of the injuring or killing of any such livestock to be immediately posted up in a conspicuous place on the station house or section house which is nearest to the place of killing or injuring, which notice shall specify the date and place of such injury or killing, the kind and number of animals killed or injured, the color and brands or marks of such animals, and the owner's name, if known. The carcass of any animal so killed shall not be buried until three (3) days after the posting of such notice. A copy of the notice so posted shall, in all cases, be immediately mailed by the section foreman to the owner of such animal, if such owner be known to him, and this notice shall be in addition to that named in the first part of this section.


37-9-308. Injury to stock; owner to make sworn statement of value
Any person or persons owning any livestock which shall be killed or injured, in the manner set forth in the first section of this act, within six (6) months after the said person or persons is, or are, notified of the said killing or injuring, as provided in the second section of this act [s 37-9-307], shall furnish the corporation having so killed or injured livestock, through its nearest agent, sworn evidence of the value of said livestock.


37-9-309 Payment of claims; time; interest; costs.
(a) Any railroad corporation liable for the payment of claims for damages from fire and livestock killed or injured shall either pay or reject the claim within sixty (60) days after notice and evidence of the claim is furnished by the claimant. All claims shall include information necessary for the railroad to verify property damage, value of property damages, and propriety of claim with all supporting bills, when available. Claims shall not be deemed filed until the information has been received by the railroad. A claim which is not rejected or paid within sixty (60) days shall be deemed granted and shall
constitute a lien upon the property of the railroad. Claims which are unpaid after sixty (60) days shall draw interest at the rate of eighteen percent (18% ) per annum until paid, whether voluntarily or by court judgment and order.

(b) With respect to any property damage caused by a railroad, the court shall order the railroad corporation to pay the reasonable attorney fees and court costs incurred by a property owner if the court finds that the railroad corporation did not negotiate in good faith to establish the reasonable value of damages caused to the property owner by the railroad, or if the property owner was required to initiate legal proceedings against the railroad corporation to enforce a judgment for damages.


Amended in 1996, 1999.
Reviewed and updated by AAHS in December 2001.


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