Two districts in Koh Kong province – Sre Ambel and Mondul Seima – have renewed their warning to residents against setting animals free on public roads or in built-up areas, noting that they could cause traffic accidents, affect public order and sanitation.
Sre Ambel deputy governor Hong Pros explained in a September 6 notice that several traffic accidents had been caused by animals, some of them fatal, adding that their owners had never come forward to provide compensation to the victims or their families.
In addition to causing accidents, he said the cattle sometimes grazed on other people’s crops and defecated on public roads. This disturbed public order and affected the aesthetics and hygiene of the district.
“To contribute to reducing traffic accidents, maintaining public order, and improving the hygiene and beauty of the districts’ public spaces, all cattle – including buffalos – must be kept in enclosures of barns from September 9 onwards,” said Pros.
He explained that the district authorities will give the owners of animals a 30 day grace period, meaning they have until October 9 to ensure their livestock are secured.
Mondul Seima district governor Sok Phirum also issued a final warning to farmers who let their animals wander.
“People have 30 days, from September 1 to 30, to ensure that their cattle are secured. From October 1, cows and buffalos found in public places will be seized. Their owners will be fined and made to sign contracts with the authorities,” he added.
Article 33 of the Road Traffic Law states that farmers or ox cart drivers must not set animals free on the roads, as this negligence is a criminal offence. According to Article 207 of the Criminal Code, negligence or carelessness causing the death of another person is an unintentional homicide, and is punishable by one to three years in prison and a fine of between two and six million riel ($500 and $1,500).
Article 750 of the 2007 Civil Code states that the owner of an animal is responsible for any damages it causes.