Understanding Agricultural Liability: Livestock and Other Farm Animals
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Animal agriculture carries certain potential legal risks for liability from injuries caused by livestock. A horse owned by a stable operator, for example, may throw or kick a rider. Cattle may injure a farm visitor. An ornery goat or ram might insist on giving anyone who enters the field a solid head butt, or an unfriendly goose might give chase. You get the point. As a livestock owner, you need to understand the laws concerning liability for personal injuries caused by livestock in order to develop a risk management plan for your operation. This fact sheet contains the information you will need to understand the possible legal risks and develop strategies to limit potential liability. Remember it is unlikely that you will be able to limit 100 percent of the legal risk you face in any facet of your agricultural operation. There are only tools available, such as insurance, hanging warning signs, or developing strategies for dealing with potentially dangerous livestock that can work to limit a portion of that liability.