Stray Animal Signs

Document No:  03/4302
Revision:  1B
Date amended:  13-May-2015

 The information below is intended to reflect the preferred practice of Main Roads Western Australia ("Main Roads"). Main Roads reserves the right to update this information at any time without notice. If you have any questions or comments please contact Albert Symcox by e-mail or on (08) 9323 4586. 

To the extent permitted by law, Main Roads, its employees, agents, authors and contributors are not liable for any loss resulting from any action taken or reliance made by you on the information herein displayed.


Revision Register


Ed/Version Number Clause Number Description of Revision Date



 Guideline Developed




 All broken links amended


​1B​Header​Contact updated​13-May-2015

Table of Content


Straying Animal Signs will be provided where unfenced sections of pastoral land dedicated for livestock bounds a state road, subject to guideline conditions.



Local Road means a road under the jurisdiction of a Local Government Authority.

Major intersection means an intersection that has a typical total daily turn volume into a State Road of at least 75 vehicles per day averaged over a year, or if a tourist road at least 75 vehicles per day averaged over a 3 month period. 

Pastoral area means lease-hold land for pastoral use.

State Road means a road declared under the Main Roads Act and thus managed by Main Roads.

Town means a gazetted townsite with habitable buildings.


The owner of stock in pastoral areas is not legally required to contain the stock from entering a road reserve, nor is the road authority required to take measures to restrain the stock from entering their road reserves. Thus typically, roads in pastoral areas are unfenced.

Pastoral areas also have reasonable numbers of wild stock such as goats, horses, donkeys, camels and water buffalo as well as large native animals such as kangaroos and emus. Thus motorists may be confronted with numerous types animals straying on to the road.

Australian Standard 1742.2 (1994) Section Stock states that the STOCK warning sign (W5-38 which contains a picture of a cow (cattle) and a sheep) should be used to warn of the possibility of wandering stock on an unfenced road; and if the length of unfenced road exceeds 1 km then the supplementary sign NEXT ... km should also be used.

Australian Standard 1742.2 (1994) Section Kangaroos states that the KANGAROO warning sign (W5-29 which contains a picture of a kangaroo) should be used to warn of the possibility of kangaroos being a hazard, and if the section of road exceeds 1 km then the supplementary sign NEXT ... km should also be used.

Western Australia has vast pastoral areas and State Roads in these areas are hundreds of kilometres in length. It is therefore desirable that drivers on State Roads in pastoral areas be made aware that numerous types of either stock and/or wildlife could be on the road.

Thus for State Roads in pastoral areas, Main Roads has developed special STRAY ANIMALS signs to warn drivers that stock and/or wildlife may stray onto the road.

Obviously, it is not practical for the sign to contain pictures of all the different types of stock and widlife; and the symbols on the sign should be limited to either represent stock, wildlife or both stock & wildlife. Main Roads have developed signs for each usage as follows.


The appropriate sign needs to be selected from the available signs to represent the animal types encountered along a length of road. (i.e. if no pastoral stock are grazed along the unfenced road length, then the MR-WDO-32-2 & MR-WDO-33D WILDLIFE signs should be used).

STRAY ANIMALS (MR-WDO-32-1, MR-WDO-32-2 or MR-WDO-32-3) warning signs shall be installed:

  • At the commencement of unfenced roads, and
  • Along unfenced roads on the leaving side of major intersections, towns, roadhouses.

Repeater (W5-38, MR-WDO-33D or MR-WDO-34D) warning signs shall be installed:

  • At recurrent crash sites,
  • At areas where animals regularly congregate in the vicinity of the road - such as watering points, waterways and cattle yards.
  • Regional Manager may approve STRAY ANIMALS signs and Repeater signs on State Roads in pastoral areas in accordance with this guideline.



Technical details for the STRAY ANIMALS warning sign are given in the Main Roads Signs Index, Section 1.2.5 Diamond Road Obstacle Series: MR-WDO.

The distance on the sign shall be the lesser of the distance to:

  • The next STRAY ANIMALS sign,
  • The next townsite boundary, and
  • The start of where fences in good condition are present on road reserve boundaries continuously for a minimum distance of 50 km.

For existing STRAY ANIMALS signs at major intersections, if the total annual average turn volume onto the State Road falls below 75 vehicles per day and one of the signs reaches its end of life or is severely damaged, then all the signs at the intersection may be removed. 


Technical details of the repeater warning signs are given in the Main Roads Signs Index, Section 1.2.5 Diamond Road Obstacle Series: MR-WDO, and in Australian Standards AS1742.2 section

  • If the section of unfenced road covered by the repeater sign is greater than 1 km, then a NEXT ... KM drop tag sign (W8-17) is to be placed under the sign.