The 2011 breeding season in North America has officially drawn to a close. The BloodHorse.com posted an article on Tuesday with commentary from several major Thoroughbred stud farms about how they fared during the 2011 breeding season. Some stallion farms did better in 2011 than in 2010 (primarily those where proven sires stood in 2011). Overall, stallion
A gentleman recently told me that his stallion had gotten loose, gone onto his neighbor’s unfenced property, and "worried" the neighbor’s mares. The neighbor shot at the stallion with a shotgun, and stated that the police told him he was justified in doing so because the stallion was "trespassing on his property."
Is the stallion owner liable for property damage or injury to persons caused by his stallion? Generally speaking, not unless the stallion owner knowingly let the stallion roam free.
Important to this analysis is that Texas is, generally speaking, still an open range state. That is–livestock may still roam at large in Texas with two exceptions:
- Public highways. The Texas Agriculture Code states "[a] person who owns or has responsibility for the control of a horse, mule, donkey, cow, bull, steer, hog, sheep, or goat may not knowingly permit the animal to traverse or roam at large, unattended, on the right-of-way of a highway." Tex. Agric. Code § 143.102 (Vernon 2004)(emphasis added). The statute defines a "highway" as "a U.S. highway or a state highway in this state, but does not include a numbered farm-to-market road." Id. at § 143.101. Therefore, U.S. and state highways in Texas are effectively considered closed ranged. Conversely, the 40,000-plus miles of farm-to-market roads in Texas are unaffected by this statute.
- Stock Law Counties or Areas. Chapter 143 of the Agriculture Code permits local elections to adopt a law (a.k.a. "stock law"), where a person may not permit any animal of the class mentioned in the proclamation to run at large in the county or area in which the election was held. A typical stock law will prohibit horses, mules, donkeys, sheep, goats, and cattle from running at large.
As expressly provided by the Code, some counties in Texas have enacted county wide stock laws, yet others have chosen to elect stock laws only in certain precincts or areas within said county. Unfortunately, there is no statewide index that traces the counties or areas where stock laws have been passed.
Fortunately, unlike many states, Texas does not require holders of stock breeder’s liens to file suit or involve the courts in order to enforce their liens—provided the enforcement provisions in the statute are precisely followed.
If you own or stand a stallion and a mare owner does not pay for the breeding services, you have…
Who has a stock breeder’s lien, and to which animal(s) does the lien apply? An owner or keeper of a stallion, jack, bull, or boar confined to be bred for profit has a preference lien on the offspring of the animal for the amount of the charges for the breeding services, unless the owner or…