If you were to be arrested and jailed in our great state, you wouldn’t expect a luxury experience while in jail, but you would expect basic humane treatment, including regular meals and being able to properly tend to your bodily needs.
According to Georgia Code Title 4, livestock are no different! In addition to feed and water provided “no less than twice a day,” dairy cows and goats are entitled to a twice-daily milking by the sheriff, guards, or other designated milker. Imagine coming to work ready to fight crime and put the bad guys away, only to find a milking stool, a bucket, and a Holstein with full utters. Talk about “not my job”!
But according to state law, this may be part of your job if you’re working for the local police department. Don’t worry, though, the law also includes a provision for you to be compensated for your extra duties at a rate of $5 per day per animal. That might not be the bonus you were looking for, but the good news is that this law is rarely enforced these days. Why did it ever make it on the books?
The law was added as a way to address animals, especially livestock, that were found running at large — also known as “straying” — on public roads or on private property. In the latter case, if the property was a farm, that farmer also a right, by law, to impound the stray livestock and assess similar fees for feed and care. In both cases, the livestock’s owner (if known) must be notified, and if they haven’t claimed their property within three days (and paid any fees due for its impoundment, the animal can be advertised for sale.
It’s fun to imagine what that classified ad would look like: Stray milk cow in need of a loving home. Must be milked twice daily. Call the sheriff’s office for more information.
Check out future newsletters to learn more about other weird laws from the Peach State.