Beware those bylaws

Farmer Freddy discovers it's not so easy just to move stock.

After a stressful season on the farm, Farmer Freddy is looking forward to drying the herd off and catching up on maintenance.

To celebrate reaching the end of the season, Freddy invites his friend, Joe, over to watch the Hurricanes game with him and his daughter, Pebbles.

At halftime, Joe reminds Freddy that Joe was going to graze 50 of Freddy's late-calving heifers at Joe's runoff.

"Have you arranged a truck to move the stock yet?" asks Joe, who lives five kilometres away on the other side of town. "Most of the carriers will already be fully booked."

"Crikey," says Freddy. "I knew I'd forgotten something. I know - we'll walk the heifers along the road from here to your runoff. Pebbles can drive in front to warn oncoming traffic, and we can chase the heifers from behind.

"Since the quickest route is through the main street of town, we'll make the move at night. It'll be a piece of cake," says Freddy, quite chuffed with his plan.

"Hang on, Dad," says Pebbles. "Before you race ahead and plan anything, you need to check council bylaws that regulate the movement of stock along roads.

"For example, you may not be allowed to move the stock in the dark, and you may need to get consent from the council if the stock will travel over a certain distance. If you breach the bylaws, you may be fined."

"But, Pebbles," replies Freddy, "these roads aren't busy. "We're lucky to get a car a week out here."

"Still, Dad," says Pebbles, "unless you want to risk getting fined, you need to check the bylaws because they tell you exactly what you can and can't do."

Frustrated, Freddy mutters: "If I'm going to have to move the stock during daylight hours, it looks like I'll be walking them up the main street of town bang on lunchtime. There will be cars and people everywhere. How's that going to work?"

"Don't worry," replies Pebbles. "The bylaws specify whether you have to follow designated stock routes to avoid the centre of town and any other restrictions on the route you can take. It is important you factor these in when you're planning your route."

"This isn't going to be as easy as I thought," says Freddy. "Next you're going to tell me that I have to follow behind and clean up any mess the stock make!"

"Sorry to break this to you, Dad," says Pebbles, "but that was my next point."

"I suppose I'd better have a look at those bylaws," says Freddy.

"Anyway, let's get back to watching the game before we miss the whole second half."


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