Canada’s weirdest laws: it’s illegal to drive cattle around after 8:00 a.m. in St. John’s

In St. John’s it’s illegal to drive cows, as well as other cattle, around after 8:00 a.m.
In St. John’s it’s illegal to drive cows, as well as other cattle, around after 8:00 a.m. (Photo: REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin)

An “a-moo-sing” law is making the rounds on the Internet.

In St. John’s, N.L., if a farmer has a favourite cow and feels like taking her out for a spin, the lucky cow has to be back on the farm by 8:00 a.m. at the latest.

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That’s right; in St. John’s it’s illegal to drive cows, as well as other cattle, around after 8:00 a.m.

Not only are residents forbidden from driving their cattle around town, they are also not allowed to keep a cow at home. It’s questionable as to why anyone would even want to do so given how much work it would require.

The prohibition seems to be an antiquated law that is likely to be found in an old, dusty tome of bylaws. St. John’s has its own current animal control regulation bylaw but there is no mention of cattle or cows in there.

One clue as to why such a law would have existed may be found in an article CBC News published in July about cattle roaming freely on a road in the town of St. Fintan, quoting a local resident,

"[But] you can't have roaming animals on a road that's used for the cabin owners and the other farmers." In other words, it may be an issue of overcrowding.

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Given the St. John’s cattle prohibition is not in the current animal control bylaws, it’s unlikely that residents, who drive their cows around after 8:00 a.m. will be punished.

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