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Home on the Range Rover?

Cowboys on cattle drives may have to wear fluorescent vests and be accompanied by trucks with flashing lights under proposed new government rules, a Canadian cattlemen's group said. Highway officials say they want herds on spring drives and fall roundups escorted both front and rear by warning vehicles, according to Lorne Leach of the British Columbia Cattlemen's Association.

"The pickup in the rear will have a flashing light and say "Cattle Drive In Progress,'

" Leach said, adding that cowboys may not have to scoop up cattle droppings as they cross the highways of this mountainous west coast province.

"At least we do not have to become pooper-scoopers. Under their proposal, all excrement and debris had to be cleaned up immediately following a drive. That's not always possible," he said.

Leach said outriders may have to wear fluorescent vests and have their bosses carry public liability insurance in case of highway accidents.

He said the rules were making some cowboys increasingly irritated with the bureaucratic interference.

"The romance is going, but I guess that's the age we live in," he said.