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Allowing Livestock to run at large

Allowing Livestock to run at large

While we’re on the subject of equines, the North Carolina Legislature has a livestock law. At N.C.G.S. §68-15 et seq., livestock is defined as equine animals, bovine animals, sheep, goats, lamas and swine.

Section 68-16 provides “If any person shall allow his livestock to run at large, he shall be guilty of a class three misdemeanor.” This law was first enacted in 1889.

There is also a statute providing protection of livestock running at large. G.S. §14-366 provides: “If any person shall unlawfully and on purpose drive any livestock, lawfully running at large in the range, from said range or shall … injure any livestock, lawfully running at large in the range or in the field or pasture of the owner, whether done with actual intent to injure the owner, or to drive the stock from the range, or with any other unlawful intent, every such person … shall be guilty of a class two misdemeanor.

These two statutes are both still on the books and present a curious situation of making it a misdemeanor to allow livestock to run at large and also protecting any livestock that is lawfully running at large. Now the question is: What does it mean to be “at large”?

 

   

 

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