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State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Virginia > Title-55 > Chapter-18 > 55-299

§ 55-299. Definition of lawful fence.

Every fence shall be deemed a lawful fence as to any livestock named in §55-306, which could not creep through the same, if

(1) Five feet high, including, if the fence be on a mound, the mound to thebottom of the ditch,

(2) Of barbed wire, 42 inches high, consisting of at least four strands ofbarbed wire, firmly fixed to posts, trees, or other supports substantiallyset in the ground, spaced no farther than 12 feet apart unless a substantialstay or brace is installed halfway between such posts, trees or othersupports to which such wires shall be also fixed,

(3) Of boards, planks, or rails, 42 inches high, consisting of at least threeboards firmly attached to posts, trees, or other supports substantially setin the ground,

(4) Three feet high within the limits of any incorporated town whose charterdoes not prescribe, nor give to the council thereof power of prescribing,what shall constitute a lawful fence within such corporate limits, or

(5) Any fence of any kind whatsoever, except as described in this section,and except in the case of incorporated towns as set forth in subdivision (4),which shall be:

a. At least 42 inches high,

b. Constructed from materials sold for fencing or consisting of systems ordevices based on technology generally accepted as appropriate for theconfinement or restriction of livestock named in § 55-306, and

c. Installed pursuant to generally acceptable standards so that applicablelivestock named in § 55-306 cannot creep through the same.

A cattle guard reasonably sufficient to turn all kinds of livestock shallalso be deemed a lawful fence as to any livestock mentioned in § 55-306.

Nothing contained in this section shall affect the right of any such town toregulate or forbid the running at large of cattle and other domestic animalswithin its corporate limits.

The Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services may adopt rules andregulations regarding lawful fencing consistent with this section to providegreater specificity as to the requirements of lawful fencing. The absence ofany such rule or regulation shall not affect the validity or applicability ofthis section as it relates to what constitutes lawful fencing.

(Code 1950, § 8-869; 1977, c. 624; 2007, c. 574.)