Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Forage Definition:

The act of searching for provisions.

In Risk, the High Court of Australia had before it a statute which referred to the entitlement of those of "Aboriginal tradition to forage as of right over that land", without defining forage.

The High Court:

"The term forage includes the act of searching for provisions of any kind. In that sense, it is wide enough to include fishing in the seas below the low water mark and the recovery of clams, oysters and other edibles attached to or on the sea-bed. But the more natural meaning of the term forage is the search for food on land above the low water mark.

"The historic and primary meaning of (forage) was and still is food for horses and cattle although in (the statute at bar) forage obviously has a wider meaning than obtaining food for horses and cattle, it requires a strained construction of the term to regard it as including fishing or the recovery of edibles on or attached to the sea-bed. The natural meaning of forage and its association (in the statute) with a right over that land indicates that land (in the statute) is referring to land above the low water mark."

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