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SILVER CREEK – Cows, you’ve been warned. No more roaming in the Town of Hanover.

A new local law that bans livestock from running on roads was approved Monday at the regular meeting of the Hanover Town Board.

“This has been an on-going issue, and we needed to get something on the books,” said Town Supervisor Todd Johnson.

The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office has received several complaints recently about cows being in the roadway on King Road and other rural areas.

Johnson said the new law also extends to “trespassing” issues where livestock have roamed onto neighboring farms and damaged crops.

Several local farmers attended a public hearing on the topic in Town Hall, Johnson said.

“We heard from both sides,” he said. “What it boils down to is that we are concerned about public safety and damage,” he added.

Johnson said that after listening to the farmers and residents, town officials decided that amendments to the law will be necessary. He said the amendments will be considered at a second public hearing Sept. 22.

“We are going to ask that a warning be built into the penalties,” he said.

Johnson said that a first offense would be only a warning. He said an accident or a problem created by wind or weather damaging a fence and allowing the livestock to run would also be treated with a warning. Fines and other penalties, including jail, would be imposed for persistent problems.