An occupier of private land who impounds an animal and knows or can easily find out the owner’s identity must inform the owner of the animal’s whereabouts within 24 hours of impounding the animal and must then either:
- Immediately have the animal delivered to the livestock pound at the Southern Region Livestock Exchange (SRLX), or
- Keep the animal on the land for a period of not more than 4 days and then (if the animal has not been claimed by its owner) have the animal delivered to SRLX.
The occupier must ensure that any animal kept on the land after it is impounded by them:
- Is provided with adequate food, water and veterinary care, and
- Is kept in a place that is well drained and maintained in a clean condition, and
- Is provided with adequate shade for the climatic conditions, and
- Is separated from other animals that are diseased or, if the animal is or appears to be diseased, is kept separate from other animals.
If the owner of the animal claims the animal, the occupier must do one of the following:
- Release or send the animal to its owner on payment in full of the appropriate charge,
- If the animal’s owner declines to pay the appropriate charge—have the animal delivered to the SRLX,
- Release or send the animal to its owner without payment in full of the appropriate charge.
If the occupier releases or sends the animal to its owner without the appropriate charge having been paid in full and the owner does not within 7 days pay the occupier the appropriate charge in full and any costs of transporting the animal to its owner, the occupier may recover the charge and costs from the owner as a debt.