AUSTIN, TX – 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 Texas. Farm Animal Liability Act which will come into force in September. . 1, according to a Texas A&M Agricultural Extension Service expert in agricultural law.
Texas Legislature passed and Governor Greg Abbott signed Bill 365 House, making significant changes to Texas farm animal liability law, said Tiffany Dowell Lashmet, AgriLife Extension farm law specialist, Amarillo.
According to Kay Ledbetter of Texas A&M AgriLife, Lashmet spoke at the recent Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course on the Texas A&M University campus and said AgriLife outreach officers 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.
Protection is not automatic
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 as of September 1.