SIDNEY — Crews from the Maine Department of Transportation repaired a section of fence along Interstate 95 Wednesday that goats from a nearby farm were escaping through a hole in the barbed wire.

Ted Talbot, spokesman for the transportation department, said it is not the state’s responsibility to keep the animals fenced in, but the department repaired the fence to keep the animals off the highway.

“The only purpose of that fence is to mark the state’s boundary,” said Talbot. “In no way is that an agriculture fence. It is the owner’s responsibility to keep his livestock contained, but in the interest of public safety we are repairing that fence.”

The repair was made after several goats belonging to Norman Road farmer Mark Gould were reported to police and local animal control officers by motorists who saw the animals grazing alongside the highway near mile marker 122 on the northbound side of I-95. Some parts of the farm are fenced in, but there is no fence around the perimeter of the farm.

The goats were reported on Sunday and Monday, which means that under state law Gould could be charged with animal trespassing and made to pay a fine if it were to happen again within the week.

Gould, who is the chief wrangler at the Somerset Auction Co. and has 23 goats, has maintained that it is the state’s responsibility to keep up the state-owned fence.

The goats were escaping as many as three times a day through a hole in the state fence.

He said the state “promised to keep it repaired when they put it up and they’ve failed to do so,” Gould said Tuesday. He could not be reached for comment late Wednesday.

Local animal control officer Chris Martinez, who said he was not aware the fence was being repaired on Wednesday, said no reports of the goats grazing along highway have been received since Monday afternoon.

He said Gould bears responsibility, too.

“If his animals are escaping and trespassing on other people’s property, he should put up his own fence,” said Martinez. “If I were him I would put up a fence, maybe an electric fence, but he’s probably not going to do that.”

The 65-acre farm, which is on a private road off of Drummond Road, has some fenced-in areas around the barns and fields, but there is no fence around the perimeter of the property.

In 2011 Gould was also summoned on a charge of animal trespassing after several cows crossed the fence near the interstate.

The goats have also gotten loose on Drummond Road, according to Martinez.

“I sort of anticipate it happening again,” he said. “You never know when or where they’re going to do it.”

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]


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