(a) Any person or agent of the Department may take up any livestock found running at large, upon the public highways, or on unenclosed lands within this State and impound the same. Such person or agent of the Department may demand and receive a reasonable sum for the impoundment, care, and feeding of the livestock while in such person’s care. The care and shelter provided shall be humane and shall be adequate for the size and class of livestock impounded. The State Veterinarian will be responsible for determining if the livestock are being housed and fed properly as well as determining a fair and reasonable cost for impoundment, care, and feeding per day.
Terms Used In Delaware Code Title 3 Sec. 7702
- adult person: means a person of the age of 18 years or older. See Delaware Code Title 6 Sec. 4307
- Agent of the department: means a person who acts on behalf of the Department to carry out its activities. See Delaware Code Title 7 Sec. 5307
- At large: means livestock that strays from confinement or restraint and from the property of the owner including livestock that strays into a confined area that is owned by a person other than the owner of the livestock. See Delaware Code Title 7 Sec. 5307
- Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
- Department: means the Department of Agriculture. See Delaware Code Title 7 Sec. 5307
- Livestock: means domesticated species including: bovine, camelid, cervid, equine, swine, ruminants, ratites, rabbits, poultry, and other animals harvested for food, fiber, fur, or leather. See Delaware Code Title 7 Sec. 5307
- State: means the State of Delaware; and when applied to different parts of the United States, it includes the District of Columbia and the several territories and possessions of the United States. See Delaware Code Title 6 Sec. 4307
- Unenclosed lands: means lands, other than the livestock owner's property, where the livestock would be able to run loose, free of confinement, or otherwise unrestrained by the livestock owner. See Delaware Code Title 7 Sec. 5307
(b) The person or agent of the Department taking up and impounding the livestock shall forthwith give written notice of the taking up and impounding to the owner thereof, if known, or by leaving the notice with an adult person at the owner’s or their usual place of abode; or, if unknown, shall place a notice of 3 days’ duration in at least 2 forms of media, including 1 print, adequately describing the livestock and giving an accurate location where the livestock was found, and the name, address, and telephone number of the person holding the livestock.
(c) Any person or agent of the Department taking up and impounding livestock under this chapter who refuses or neglects to give notice as provided in this section, shall be liable to the owner of such livestock in civil damages, to be recovered in a civil action before a Justice of the Peace Court or the Court of Common Pleas of the county in which the livestock was taken up.