YOUR TEXAS AGRICULTURE MINUTE
Improved liability protections provided to Texas landowners, lessees
By Gary Joiner
Under current state law, when livestock escape through a fence and cause an accident, the landowner or lessee is liable for damages. This is true even if the landowner or lessee is not at fault for the fence damage.
The situation is frustrating. Illegal trespassing and fence damage are a constant occurrence in areas of Texas.
Something needed to be done.
A bill approved by the Texas Legislature and signed recently into law thankfully closes that gap in liability protection.
HB 73 by State Rep. Andrew Murr and State Sen. Drew Springer becomes effective Sept. 1.
The new law prevents landowners and lessees from being held liable for damages caused by livestock due to a damaged fence. It also prevents the landowner or lessee from being help liable due to acts of God, wildlife and livestock that are beyond their control.
Trespassers cutting or driving through fences are a serious concern in Texas. These situations often occur late at night.
Farmers and ranchers have suffered significant losses of time, resources and money due to illegal trespassing and fencing damage.
The new law at least provides improved liability protection when those situations occur.
The preceding commentary is brought to you by Texas Farm Bureau, the “Voice of Texas Agriculture.” Called “Your Texas Agriculture Minute,” TFB will issue thought-provoking editorials each week—via print and audio—to spark understanding of agriculture in the Lone Star State and its impact on each and every Texan.
Media outlets: This content may be used without further permission.