Farmers' liability for their animals
"An animal owner can be subject to legal liabilities for acts of animals owned as part of a farm enterprise or even as pets. This guide discusses some of the situations where liability may be imposed on an owner for acts of an animal. The law recognizes two general classes of animals: wild and domestic. Animals such as farm livestock that are ordinarily harmless to people are classified as domestic animals. Ownership of domestic animals carries certain legal liabilities. The following examples will be discussed to demonstrate the nature and extent of the possible legal consequences arising from the acts of such animals: 1. Your cattle break through a fence along a road and damage your neighbor's corn. 2. You drive your herd back to your land by way of a public highway and one of the animals is struck by a car. 3. You discover that your herd is diseased, and through your lack of care the disease spreads to your neighbor's herd. 4. Your dog, while off your property, kills sheep belonging to someone else. 5. Your watchdog attacks a salesperson who comes to call. 6. Your dog, which is very friendly, jumps up to greet a visitor. The visitor is frightened and falls off the front porch. Lawsuits can and do arise in such situations. By studying these examples, you can learn how to protect yourself from the cost and unpleasantness of a lawsuit. At the same time, you can learn about your rights when you are subject to acts of animals belonging to others. The information in this guide is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for competent legal advice. This guide contains only general statements of the law based on limited sets of facts. Consult with your attorney if you are faced with a specific situation. Your attorney can get all the facts of the case and act upon them in your best interests."--First page.
Archive version. For the most recent information see extension.missouri.edu.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License.