§ Baroness Masham of Ilton
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Who is responsible for unclaimed farm animals found at the roadside which require veterinary assistance. [HL850]
§ Lord Whitty
The Highways Act 1980 makes it an offence to allow an animal to stray or lie at the side of a highway. The keeper of the straying animal would be liable for the expenses incurred in its removal and impounding.
Depending on the type of road, the Highways Agency, police and local authorities have responsibility for removing unclaimed livestock from the highway. Where such an animal requires veterinary treatment, in practice private veterinary surgeons and veterinarians employed by voluntary welfare organisations provide assistance on request from the authority involved.