[Rev. 11/21/2013 12:24:49 PM--2013]

CHAPTER 569 - ESTRAYS AND LIVESTOCK

ESTRAYS AND FERAL LIVESTOCK

NRS 569.005           Definitions.

NRS 569.006           “Alternative livestock” defined.

NRS 569.0065         “Department” defined.

NRS 569.007           “Director” defined.

NRS 569.0075         “Estray” defined.

NRS 569.008           “Feral livestock” defined.

NRS 569.0085         “Livestock” defined.

NRS 569.010           Estrays and feral livestock deemed property of Department; management, control, placement and disposition of estrays and feral livestock; disposition of money; liability.

NRS 569.020           Duties of certain officers who impound livestock to notify Department; contents of notice.

NRS 569.031           Cooperative agreements for management, control, placement or disposition of livestock: Required provisions; annual review by Department; cancellation.

NRS 569.040           Unlawful to take up or feed estray or feral livestock.

NRS 569.045           Person gathering estray or feral livestock to publish notice in newspaper; requirements of notice.

NRS 569.050           Written notice to Department when person takes up estray.

NRS 569.060           Examination by Department of brand records upon receipt of notice of taking up of estray; notice to owner; payment of charges incurred for care; authority for closer examination of brands.

NRS 569.070           Publication of notice of estray required if owner cannot be determined; reimbursement of expenses for publication; sale of injured or debilitated estray.

NRS 569.075           Sale of feral livestock gathered by Department; publication of notice of sale of feral livestock; sale of injured or debilitated feral livestock.

NRS 569.080           Sale, placement or other disposition of unclaimed estray; sale or placement of unclaimed feral livestock; issuance of brand inspection clearance certificate upon sale; marking, branding or identifying required before sale or placement.

NRS 569.090           Deposit of balance of proceeds of sale; records; payment to owner.

NRS 569.100           Person taking up estray or feral livestock entitled to hold animal until relieved of custody; unlawful use or taking of estray or feral livestock; penalties.

NRS 569.110           Escaped or removed estray or feral livestock may be recovered by person who took it up.

NRS 569.120           Estrays and feral livestock may be taken up by agents of Department; procedure for disposal.

NRS 569.130           Penalties.

LIVESTOCK

NRS 569.431           “Legal fence” defined.

NRS 569.440           Liability caused by trespassing livestock; liability of landowner for injury to trespassing livestock; trespassing livestock treated as estrays.

NRS 569.450           Trespass on cultivated land: No award of damages unless land enclosed by legal fence.

NRS 569.461           Liability of developer of residential, commercial or industrial structure adjoining pasture for damages to legal fence.

NRS 569.471           Replacement of legal fence permitted; conditions; duty and liability.

_________

 

ESTRAYS AND FERAL LIVESTOCK

      NRS 569.005  Definitions.  As used in NRS 569.005 to 569.130, inclusive, unless the context otherwise requires, the words and terms defined in NRS 569.006 to 569.0085, inclusive, have the meanings ascribed to them in those sections.

      (Added to NRS by 1961, 512; A 1993, 1744; 1997, 461; 1999, 3682; 2003, 2152)

      NRS 569.006  “Alternative livestock” defined.  “Alternative livestock” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 501.003.

      (Added to NRS by 2003, 2152)

      NRS 569.0065  “Department” defined.  “Department” means the State Department of Agriculture.

      (Added to NRS by 2003, 2152)

      NRS 569.007  “Director” defined.  “Director” means the Director of the Department.

      (Added to NRS by 2003, 2152)

      NRS 569.0075  “Estray” defined.  “Estray” means any domesticated livestock or progeny of domesticated livestock showing signs of domestication, running at large upon public or private lands in the State of Nevada, whose owner is unknown in the section where the animal is found.

      (Added to NRS by 2003, 2152)

      NRS 569.008  “Feral livestock” defined.  “Feral livestock” means any formerly domesticated livestock or progeny of domesticated livestock which have become wild and are running at large upon public or private lands in the State of Nevada, and which have no physical signs of domestication. The term does not include horses or burros that are subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Government pursuant to the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 1331 to 1340, inclusive, and any regulations adopted pursuant thereto, or any other federal statute or regulation.

      (Added to NRS by 2003, 2152)

      NRS 569.0085  “Livestock” defined.  “Livestock” means:

      1.  All cattle or animals of the bovine species;

      2.  All horses, mules, burros and asses or animals of the equine species;

      3.  All swine or animals of the porcine species;

      4.  All goats or animals of the caprine species;

      5.  All sheep or animals of the ovine species;

      6.  All poultry or domesticated fowl or birds; and

      7.  All alternative livestock.

      (Added to NRS by 2003, 2152)

      NRS 569.010  Estrays and feral livestock deemed property of Department; management, control, placement and disposition of estrays and feral livestock; disposition of money; liability.

      1.  Except as otherwise provided by law, all estrays and feral livestock within this state shall be deemed for the purpose of this section to be the property of the Department.

      2.  The Department has all rights accruing pursuant to the laws of this state to owners of those animals, and may:

      (a) Dispose of estrays and feral livestock by sale through an agent appointed by the Department; or

      (b) Provide for the management, control, placement or disposition of estrays and feral livestock through cooperative agreements pursuant to NRS 569.031.

      3.  Except as otherwise provided by law, all money collected for the sale or for the injury or killing of any such animals must be held for 1 year, subject to the claim of any person who can establish legal title to any animal concerned. All money remaining unclaimed must be deposited in the Livestock Inspection Account after 1 year. The Department may disallow all claims if it deems the claims illegal or not showing satisfactory evidence of title.

      4.  The Department or any political subdivision of this state is not liable for any trespass or other damage caused by any of those estrays or feral livestock.

      [1:200:1925; NCL § 3993]—(NRS A 1959, 641; 1961, 546; 1991, 1794; 1993, 295, 1744; 1995, 579; 1997, 461; 1999, 3682; 2003, 2153; 2013, 1866)

      NRS 569.020  Duties of certain officers who impound livestock to notify Department; contents of notice.

      1.  Any county, city, town, township or other peace officer or poundmaster who impounds under the provisions of any state law or county or municipal ordinance any livestock shall, immediately after impounding the livestock, send a written notice to the Department.

      2.  The notice must contain a full description, including all brands and marks, sex, age, weight, color and kind of each animal so impounded.

      3.  For the sale of livestock if the owner of the livestock is not known, and for the sale of the impounded livestock as prescribed by law, all notices posted or advertisements published by any officer or other person having charge of the sale must include, unless the livestock is feral livestock, a complete description of each animal to be sold, including all brands and marks, sex, age, weight, color and kind.

      [1:182:1925; NCL § 3990]—(NRS A 1959, 641; 1961, 546; 1993, 1744; 1999, 3683; 2003, 2153)

      NRS 569.031  Cooperative agreements for management, control, placement or disposition of livestock: Required provisions; annual review by Department; cancellation.  The Department may enter into a cooperative agreement for the management, control, placement or disposition of the livestock with another agency of this state or with a county, city, town, township, peace officer, poundmaster or nonprofit organization. If an agreement is entered into, it must provide for:

      1.  The responsibility for the payment of the expenses incurred in taking up, holding, advertising and making the disposition of the estray or feral livestock, and any damages for trespass allowed pursuant to NRS 569.440;

      2.  The disposition of any money received from the sale of the livestock;

      3.  The protection of the rights of a lawful owner of an estray or feral livestock pursuant to NRS 569.040 to 569.130, inclusive;

      4.  The designation of the specific geographic area of this state to which the cooperative agreement applies; and

      5.  The cooperating person or entity to hold the State of Nevada harmless from any claim or liability arising from an act or omission of the cooperating person or entity in carrying out the cooperative agreement.

Ê The Department shall annually review the actions of the cooperating person or entity for compliance with the agreement. The Department may cancel the agreement upon a finding of noncompliant actions.

      (Added to NRS by 1993, 294; A 1995, 649; 1997, 462; 1999, 3683; 2003, 2153; 2013, 1867)

      NRS 569.040  Unlawful to take up or feed estray or feral livestock.

      1.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2, NRS 569.040 to 569.130, inclusive, or pursuant to a cooperative agreement established pursuant to NRS 569.031 for the management, control, placement or disposition of estrays and feral livestock, it is unlawful for any person or the person’s employees or agents, other than an authorized agent of the Department, to:

      (a) Take up any estray or feral livestock and retain possession of it; or

      (b) Feed any estray or feral livestock.

      2.  For a first violation of paragraph (b) of subsection 1, a person must not be cited or charged criminally but must be informed that it is unlawful to feed an estray or feral livestock.

      3.  For a second or subsequent violation of paragraph (b) of subsection 1, a person is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

      [Part 1:27:1923; NCL § 3978] + [Part 9:27:1923; NCL § 3986]—(NRS A 1961, 547; 1991, 913; 1993, 295, 1744; 1995, 579; 1997, 462; 1999, 3683; 2003, 2154; 2013, 1867)

      NRS 569.045  Person gathering estray or feral livestock to publish notice in newspaper; requirements of notice.

      1.  Before any person gathers any estrays or feral livestock, the person must cause notice of the gathering to be published in a newspaper of general circulation within the county in which the gathering is to take place.

      2.  The notice must:

      (a) Be published at least once a week for the 4 weeks preceding the gathering;

      (b) Clearly identify the area in which the gathering is to take place and the date and time of the gathering;

      (c) If feral livestock are to be gathered, include a full description of the species of feral livestock to be gathered;

      (d) Indicate a location where owners or possible owners of the estrays or feral livestock may go to claim an estray or feral livestock that was gathered; and

      (e) List the name and telephone number of a person who may be contacted if an owner or possible owner is interested in viewing the estrays or feral livestock gathered.

      (Added to NRS by 1991, 912; A 2003, 2154)

      NRS 569.050  Written notice to Department when person takes up estray.  If a person takes up an estray, the person shall, within 5 days thereafter, make out a written description of the animal, setting forth all marks or brands appearing upon the animal, and other marks of identity, including color, age and sex, and forward the description by mail to the Department at its office.

      [Part 2:27:1923; NCL § 3979]—(NRS A 1959, 642; 1961, 547; 1993, 1745; 1999, 3683)

      NRS 569.060  Examination by Department of brand records upon receipt of notice of taking up of estray; notice to owner; payment of charges incurred for care; authority for closer examination of brands.

      1.  Upon receiving notice of the taking up of an estray, the Department, or its authorized agent, shall make or cause to be made an examination of the state brand records.

      2.  If from the records the name of the owner or probable owner can be determined, the Department, or its authorized agent, shall forthwith notify the owner or probable owner of the taking up of the estray.

      3.  Upon the owner’s proving to the satisfaction of the Department that the estray animal is lawfully his or hers, the Department shall issue to the owner an order to receive the estray upon the payment of any damages allowed by law and such charges as may be approved by the Department as reasonable which may have been incurred in the care of the animal so taken up.

      4.  Upon receipt of a notice of the taking up of an estray, the Department, or its authorized agent, may require a closer examination of the brands and marks, as set forth in the notice, and may require a state inspector to examine the brands before advertising.

      [4:27:1923; A 1947, 426; 1943 NCL § 3981]—(NRS A 1959, 642; 1961, 547; 1969, 138; 1977, 249; 1993, 1745; 1999, 3684)

      NRS 569.070  Publication of notice of estray required if owner cannot be determined; reimbursement of expenses for publication; sale of injured or debilitated estray.

      1.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 4, if the owner or probable owner of an estray cannot with reasonable diligence be determined by the Department or its authorized agent, the Department shall advertise the estray or cause it to be advertised.

      2.  A notice of the estray, with a full description, giving brands, marks and colors thereon, must be published in a newspaper published at the county seat of the county in which the estray was taken up. If there is no newspaper published at the county seat of the county, the notice must be published in the newspaper published at the nearest point to that county.

      3.  Expenses incurred in carrying out the provisions of subsections 1 and 2 must be deducted from the proceeds of the sale of the estray advertised.

      4.  The Department may sell an injured, sick or otherwise debilitated estray if, as determined by the Department, the sale of the estray is necessary to facilitate the placement or other disposition of the estray. If an estray is sold pursuant to this subsection, the Department shall give a brand inspection clearance certificate to the purchaser.

      [5:27:1923; A 1931, 83; 1931 NCL § 3982]—(NRS A 1961, 547; 1977, 249; 1993, 1745; 1997, 462; 1999, 3684; 2003, 2154)

      NRS 569.075  Sale of feral livestock gathered by Department; publication of notice of sale of feral livestock; sale of injured or debilitated feral livestock.

      1.  The Department may sell all feral livestock which it has gathered if the Department determines that the sale of the feral livestock is necessary to facilitate the placement or other disposition of the feral livestock.

      2.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 3, before the Department may sell feral livestock, the Department must publish notice of the sale of the feral livestock in a newspaper published at the county seat of the county in which the gathering of the feral livestock occurred. If there is no newspaper published at the county seat of the county, the notice must be published in the newspaper published at the nearest point to that county seat. A notice of a sale published pursuant to this section need not include full descriptions of the feral livestock, but may include such information and details as the Department determines necessary.

      3.  The Department may sell injured, sick or otherwise debilitated feral livestock if, as determined by the Department, the sale of the feral livestock is necessary to facilitate the placement or other disposition of the feral livestock. If feral livestock is sold pursuant to this subsection, the Department shall give a brand inspection clearance certificate to the purchaser.

      (Added to NRS by 2003, 2152)

      NRS 569.080  Sale, placement or other disposition of unclaimed estray; sale or placement of unclaimed feral livestock; issuance of brand inspection clearance certificate upon sale; marking, branding or identifying required before sale or placement.

      1.  If an estray is not claimed within 5 working days after the last publication of the advertisement required by NRS 569.070, it must be:

      (a) Sold by the Department; or

      (b) Held by the Department until the estray is given a placement or other disposition through a cooperative agreement established pursuant to NRS 569.031 for the management, control, placement or disposition of estrays and feral livestock.

      2.  If feral livestock is not claimed by the date of sale published pursuant to NRS 569.075, the feral livestock must be sold by the Department pursuant to NRS 569.075 or placed pursuant to a cooperative agreement established pursuant to NRS 569.031 for the management, control, placement or disposition of estrays and feral livestock.

      3.  If the Department sells the estray or feral livestock, the Department shall give a brand inspection clearance certificate to the purchaser.

      4.  Estrays and feral livestock must be marked, branded or identified with an individual animal identification before sale or placement.

      [6:27:1923; NCL § 3983]—(NRS A 1961, 548; 1993, 295, 1745; 1995, 579; 1997, 463; 1999, 3684; 2003, 2155; 2013, 1867)

      NRS 569.090  Deposit of balance of proceeds of sale; records; payment to owner.

      1.  Except as otherwise provided pursuant to a cooperative agreement established pursuant to NRS 569.031 for the management, control, placement or disposition of estrays and feral livestock, the Department shall:

      (a) Pay the reasonable expenses incurred in taking up, holding, advertising and selling the estray or feral livestock, and any damages for trespass allowed pursuant to NRS 569.440, from the proceeds of the sale of the estray or feral livestock and shall place the balance in an interest-bearing checking account in a bank or credit union qualified to receive deposits of public money. The proceeds from the sale and any interest on those proceeds, which are not claimed pursuant to subsection 2 within 1 year after the sale, must be deposited in the State Treasury for credit to the Livestock Inspection Account.

      (b) Make a complete record of the transaction, including any marks and brands and other means of identification of the estray, and shall keep the record available for inspection by members of the general public.

      2.  If the lawful owner of the estray or feral livestock is found within 1 year after its sale and proves ownership to the satisfaction of the Department, the net amount received from the sale must be paid to the owner.

      3.  If any claim pending 1 year after the date of sale is denied, the proceeds and any interest thereon must be deposited in the Livestock Inspection Account.

      [7:27:1923; NCL § 3984]—(NRS A 1959, 642; 1961, 548; 1977, 250; 1983, 404; 1991, 1795; 1993, 295, 1745; 1995, 246, 579; 1999, 1513, 3685; 2001, 91; 2003, 2155; 2013, 1868)

      NRS 569.100  Person taking up estray or feral livestock entitled to hold animal until relieved of custody; unlawful use or taking of estray or feral livestock; penalties.

      1.  A person who takes up an estray or feral livestock as provided for in NRS 569.040 to 569.130, inclusive, is entitled to hold the estray or feral livestock lawfully until relieved of custody by the Department.

      2.  A person shall not use or cause to be used, for profit or otherwise, any estray or feral livestock in the person’s keeping under the provisions of NRS 569.040 to 569.130, inclusive. A violation of this subsection shall be deemed grand larceny or petit larceny, as set forth in NRS 205.2175 to 205.2707, inclusive, and the person shall be punished as provided in those sections.

      3.  Any person taking, leading or driving an estray or feral livestock away from the possession of the lawful holder, as specified in NRS 569.040 to 569.130, inclusive, except as otherwise provided in this section, is subject to all the penalties under the law, whether or not the person is the claimant of the estray or feral livestock.

      [8:27:1923; NCL § 3985]—(NRS A 1961, 548; 1993, 1746; 1997, 347; 1999, 3685; 2003, 2155)

      NRS 569.110  Escaped or removed estray or feral livestock may be recovered by person who took it up.  If any estray or feral livestock, after having been taken up by a person in accordance with the provisions of NRS 569.040 to 569.130, inclusive, escapes or is removed from the custody of the person before being disposed of under the provisions of NRS 569.040 to 569.130, inclusive, the person has the legal right to recover the estray or feral livestock wherever found and to hold it until it is disposed of as provided in NRS 569.040 to 569.130, inclusive.

      [11:27:1923; NCL § 3988]—(NRS A 1961, 549; 2003, 2156)

      NRS 569.120  Estrays and feral livestock may be taken up by agents of Department; procedure for disposal.  Estrays and feral livestock may be taken up by authorized agents of the Department. The disposal of the estrays and feral livestock must be conducted in the manner set forth in the provisions of NRS 569.040 to 569.130, inclusive.

      [10:27:1923; NCL § 3987]—(NRS A 1961, 549; 1993, 1746; 1999, 3685; 2003, 2156)

      NRS 569.130  Penalties.  Any person, including, without limitation, any firm, company, association or corporation, who takes up or retains in his or her possession any estray or feral livestock not the person’s property, without the owner’s consent, or except in accordance with the provisions of NRS 569.040 to 569.130, inclusive, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

      [3:27:1923; NCL § 3980] + [Part 9:27:1923; NCL § 3986]—(NRS A 1959, 643; 1961, 549; 2003, 2156; 2013, 1868)

LIVESTOCK

      NRS 569.431  “Legal fence” defined.  As used in NRS 569.431 to 569.471, inclusive, “legal fence” means a fence with not less than four horizontal barriers, consisting of wires, boards, poles or other fence material in common use in the neighborhood, with posts set not more than 20 feet apart. The lower barrier must be not more than 12 inches from the ground and the space between any two barriers must be not more than 12 inches and the height of top barrier must be at least 48 inches above the ground. Every post must be so set as to withstand a horizontal strain of 250 pounds at a point 4 feet from the ground, and each barrier must be capable of withstanding a horizontal strain of 250 pounds at any point midway between the posts.

      (Added to NRS by 1991, 1147)

      NRS 569.440  Liability caused by trespassing livestock; liability of landowner for injury to trespassing livestock; trespassing livestock treated as estrays.

      1.  Except as otherwise provided in NRS 569.461 and 569.471:

      (a) If any livestock break into any grounds enclosed by a legal fence, the owner or manager of the livestock is liable to the owner of the enclosed premises for all damages sustained by the trespass. If the trespass is repeated by neglect of the owner or manager of the livestock, the owner or manager of the livestock is for the second and every subsequent offense or trespass, liable for double the damages of the trespass to the owner of the premises.

      (b) If any owner or occupier of any grounds or crops trespassed upon by livestock entering upon or breaking into his or her grounds, whether enclosed by a legal fence or not, kills, maims or materially injures the livestock so trespassing, the owner or occupier of the grounds or crops is liable to the owner of the livestock for all damages, and for the costs accruing from a suit for such damages, when necessarily resorted to for their recovery.

      (c) The owner or occupier of grounds or crops so damaged and trespassed upon may take up and safely keep, at the expense of the owner or owners thereof, after due notice to the owners, if known, the livestock, or so many of them as may be necessary to cover the damages the owner or occupier of grounds or crops may have sustained, for 10 days, and if not applied for by the proper owner or owners before the expiration of 10 days, the livestock may be posted under the estray laws of the state, and before restitution may be had by the owner or owners of the livestock, all damages done by them, as well also as the expense of posting and keeping them, must be paid. Any justice of the peace in the township has jurisdiction of all such reclamation of livestock, together with the damages, and expense of keeping and posting the same, when the amount claimed does not exceed $2,500.

      2.  When two or more persons cultivate lands under one enclosure, neither of them may place or cause to be placed any livestock on his or her ground, to the injury or damage of the other or others, but is liable for all damages thus sustained by the other or others. If repeated, after due notice is given, and for every subsequent repetition, double damages are recoverable in any court having jurisdiction.

      [1:16:1862; B § 3992; BH § 741; C § 777; RL § 2332; NCL § 4016] + [2:16:1862; B § 3993; BH § 742; C § 778; RL § 2333; NCL § 4017] + [3:16:1862; B § 3994; BH § 743; C § 779; RL § 2334; NCL § 4018]—(NRS A 1961, 549; 1991, 1148)

      NRS 569.450  Trespass on cultivated land: No award of damages unless land enclosed by legal fence.  No person is entitled to collect damages, and no court in this state may award damages, for any trespass of livestock on cultivated land in this state if the land, at the time of the trespass was not enclosed by a legal fence.

      [1:223:1917; 1919 RL p. 2846; NCL § 4022] + [2:223:1917; A 1929, 255; NCL § 4023]—(NRS A 1961, 550; 1991, 1149)

      NRS 569.461  Liability of developer of residential, commercial or industrial structure adjoining pasture for damages to legal fence.

      1.  When a residential, commercial or industrial structure is erected, or any other commercial or industrial activity is undertaken, on land adjoining a pasture and separated from the pasture by a legal fence, the developer of the structure or the person undertaking the activity, unless he or she makes the election permitted by NRS 569.471, shall repair any damage to the fence caused by or related to the erection of the structure, the associated development of the land or the activity undertaken. The developer or person undertaking the activity is liable for any damage done by any livestock which stray from the pasture through the damaged portion of the fence for which he or she is responsible, and to the owner of the livestock for any loss suffered as a result of their straying and for the loss accruing from a suit for any such damages when necessarily resorted to for their recovery.

      2.  For the purposes of this section, a structure is erected on land adjoining a pasture if the land on which it is erected and land adjoining the pasture are owned by the same person directly or through an affiliate, even though the area may be divided into lots, and if the site of the construction is within one-fourth of a mile of the pasture.

      (Added to NRS by 1991, 1147)

      NRS 569.471  Replacement of legal fence permitted; conditions; duty and liability.  A developer or a person undertaking an activity described in NRS 569.461, at his or her own expense, may replace a legal fence with a fence certified by the Administrator of the Division to be equally impervious to livestock, but if the developer or person undertaking such activity does so, the duty and liability imposed by NRS 569.461 exist and devolve in the same manner.

      (Added to NRS by 1991, 1148; A 1993, 1746)