Davis: Changes to Texas Farm Animal Liability Act in Effect | Way of life

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Anyone who owns cattle in Texas, including horses, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry, and honey bees in a managed colony, should be aware of the major changes to the Human Liability Act. Texas farm animals that went into effect on September 1.

New signs must be posted to obtain legal protection under Texas Farm Animal Liability Act starting September 1.

The Texas legislature was passed and Gov. Greg Abbott signed Bill 365, making significant changes to Texas farm animal liability law, said Tiffany Dowell Lashmet, AgriLife Extension farm law specialist, Amarillo.

Lashmet spoke at the recent Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course on the Texas A&M University campus and said AgriLife extension workers across the state have received calls for more information. on House Bill 365.

The Texas Farm Liability Act was originally passed in 1996, but a 2020 Texas Supreme Court case essentially ruled that the law did not apply to injuries on working farms and ranches, said Lashmet.

The Texas Legislature came back with House Bill 365 to make sure it applies to these entities, clearly outlining all of the activities, species, and situations that are covered. In addition to ensuring applicability to operating ranches, the changes also added bees as a covered species and made it clear that the law also applied to injured employees and independent contractors.

Previously, a sign was only required for farm animal professionals, but owners and tenants of farms and ranches are also now required to hang a sign in or near their arena, corral or stable to obtain the protections of the law. .

“While livestock owners have enjoyed the protection of the Farm Animal Liability Act for years, House Bill 365 made significant changes to expand the reach of the law in response to a Texas Supreme Court ruling l ‘last year, “she said. “In doing so, there is a new signage requirement that growers need to be aware of and take action. “

The required language has been changed slightly by the new bill and should read as follows, effective September 1.

Warning

Under Texas law (Chapter 87, Code of Civil Practice and Remedies), a farm animal professional or farm owner or tenant is not liable for the injury or death of a participant in any activity. farm animals, including an employee or independent contractor, resulting from the risks inherent in farm animal activities.

“Because injuries occur around farm animals, even when a person is taking precautions, it is important to have the Farm Animal Liability Act as a defense available to all Texas cattle owners,” said Lashmet.

The Texas Farm Bureau and the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association will have signs available, she said, or individuals can make them themselves.

For more information on the case or the new law, read the latest article from Texas Agriculture Law Blog, Lashmet’s award-winning blog.

– Shaniqua Davis is the Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Officer for Gregg County. Email: [email protected]


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