County gives final OK to livestock ordinance

New code will become law after publishing


LEE COUNTY – An ordinance that will penalize livestock owners for repeated incidents of animals getting loose was warped ahead by county supervisors Tuesday.
At the regular meeting, moved to Tuesday to accommodate for election deadlines, the county approved a second reading of the ordinance and moved to forego a third reading, making the new law part of the county code once it’s published in a local paper.
None of the five supervisors said they had heard anything from anyone on the new ordinance once the first reading was done at last week’s meeting.
Lee County Supervisor Chairman Garry Seyb said he did get a comment from a county resident who said they were happy to see the board worked collaboratively with other groups, including the Lee County Cattleman’s Association, to craft the new language.
The ordinance has been in the works for several years at the request of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office to help reduce the number of incidents of livestock being on county roads, where several accidents have occurred.
Supervisor Matt Pflug motioned to approve the second reading and waive the third reading.
The motion approved 5-0.
Lee County Sheriff Stacy Weber thanked the board for approving the measure.
The new law goes into Chapter 10B of the county code, but will require at least one more reading approval before being published as part of the code.
Iowa code requires all new ordinances be read into the record at least three times. However, the third time can be waived after the second reading if elected officials vote to do so.
Under the ordinance language “loose” is defined at “not confined, unrestricted, escaped from confinement, uncontrolled, set free, and/or released.”
The new ordinance requires livestock owners to keep livestock confined at all times and from being on the property of other people without permission. Landowners are also responsible for maintaining tight fences per Iowa Code.
Violations of the ordinance are considered a simple misdemeanor. A citation can only be issued after three warnings in a calendar year. The first offense is a $500 fine, followed by a $750 fine for a second violation, and then a $1,000 fine for any subsequent violations. Each day the livestock are considered to be at large constitutes separate offenses under that new code.
The sheriff also has authority under the code to seize or destroy livestock to protect the public from harm after three written warnings are issued and received. All costs of those actions are to paid by the owner of the animals.


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