As of January 2009, twenty-eight other states provide veterinarians with a statutory lien. Texas’s lien is unique in that it only applies to large animals (livestock) and is not purely possessory in nature (i.e. allows repossession after the animal is taken by its owner).
*The passage of this lien doesn’t mean the vet "has" to take the treated animal as payment…it’s just there as an alternative collections measure.*
FACTS ABOUT THE NEW STATUTE:
1) The lien will only apply to amounts that become due to vets after September 1, 2009.
2) When the vet maintains possession of the animal, the vet’s lien will have priority over all other liens.
3) Once the vet relinquishes possession of the animal, the vet’s lien should be filed of record in the county where the services were rendered and with the Secretary of State. The vet’s lien, post possession, takes priority in the order of filing the notice, per Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code.