October 5, 2013

Stray-cattle incidents in Maine town lead to beefy fines

Edward Munson will pay for violations of Maine’s animal trespass law.

By BETTY ADAMS Kennebec Journal

AUGUSTA — The beef over straying cows in Readfield has simmered down.

The town and the farmer have both signed a consent judgment approved Monday by Justice Michaela Murphy in Kennebec County Superior Court.

The town of Readfield sued Edward Munson (who also goes by the name Edwin Munson) in July, claiming his cattle continued to get loose on public roads and threaten public safety.

The lawsuit asked the court to fine Munson and order the animals removed from the property.

Munson, who lives in Winthrop, near the Readfield line, said Thursday he still has more than 120 Black Angus and Hereford cattle, and things have quieted down.

Attorney J. Mitchell Flick represented him and attorney Michael Hodgins represented the town.

The judgment says Munson’s cattle wandered from his pastures and either crossed roads or trespassed on private property, resulting in at least eight violations of the state animal trespass law between Sept. 4, 2012, and May 26.

The agreement also acknowledges that the Readfield animal control officer, Karen Peterson, spent more than 20 hours helping Munson round up the cattle.

The agreement includes Munson’s acknowledgment of those violations and calls for fines of $250 per violation for a total of $2,000 to be paid to Readfield. Also, the town was awarded $500 for the animal control officer’s time.

Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at:

badams@centralmaine.com

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