2 Aug 2011

Farmers urged by KiwiRail to secure their stock

11:11 am on 2 August 2011

A recent spate of stock deaths along railway lines has prompted KiwiRail to call for farmers to secure their animals.

There have been 16 incidents in the past three months, causing death or injury to livestock, as well as more than $10,000 damage to trains and delays to passenger and freight services.

Eleven incidents involved roaming cattle. Sheep and deer have also been hit on railway lines and in two cases, 'unidentified stock'.

KiwiRail says there is a misconception that rail is on the decline, but this is not the case as there has been a significant increase in freight trains.

Network general manager Rick van Barneveld says as well as losing valuable livestock, farmers can be held liable for any damage to the trains as well.

He says they need to take more care in checking fences and gates alongside the 4000km of railway tracks throughout New Zealand, to make sure their animals are secure.