May 18, 2012 Check Your Signage Concerning Texas Equine Liability Act Changes
The Texas Equine Liability Act was amended in June of 2011. To see the new text of the statute click here. The changes relate to including more animals under the Act. The Act has now been changed to Liability Arising from Farm Animal Activities or Livestock Shows.
A farm animal includes: horses, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, hogs, chicken, and ratite (ostrich, rhea, and emu).
Also, more activities are now covered under the Act. Covered activities now include: a farm animal show, fair, competition, performance, rodeo event, or parade; training or teaching activities involving farm animals; boarding a farm animal; riding, inspecting, evaluating, handling, loading or unloading a farm animal; informal farm animal activities, such as ride, trip or hunt; placing or replacing horse shoes on horses; examining or administering medical treatment to a farm animal.
This Texas section provides that any person, including an equine activity sponsor, equine professional, livestock show participant, or livestock show sponsor, is not liable for property damage or damages arising from the personal injury or death of a participant in an equine activity or livestock show if the property damage, injury, or death results from the dangers or conditions that are an inherent risk of an equine activity or the showing of an animal on a competitive basis in a livestock show.
Liability is not limited by this statute where the equine professional knowingly provided faulty tack or equipment, failed to make reasonable and prudent efforts to determine the ability of the participant to engage safely in the equine activity, owns or otherwise is in lawful possession of the land or facilities upon which the participant sustained injuries because of a known, dangerous latent condition, or if he or she commits an act or omission that constitutes willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant or intentionally injures the participant. The statute also requires the visible displaying of “clearly readable” warning signs that alert participants to the limitation of liability by law.
A farm animal professional shall post and maintain a sign that contains the warning contained in Subsection (c) if the professional manages or controls a stable, corral, or arena where the professional conducts a farm animal activity. The professional must post the sign in a clearly visible location on or near the stable, corral, or arena.
Also a farm animal professional shall include the warning contained in Subsection (c) in every written contract that the professional enters into with a participant for professional services, instruction, or the rental of equipment or tack or a farm animal. The warning must be included without regard to whether the contract involves farm animal activities on or off the location or site of the business of the farm animal professional. The warning must be clearly readable.
The warning posted by a farm animal professional under this section must be as follows:
UNDER TEXAS LAW (CHAPTER 87, CIVIL PRACTICE AND REMEDIES CODE), A FARM ANIMAL PROFESSIONAL IS NOT LIABLE FOR AN INJURY TO OR THE DEATH OF A PARTICIPANT IN FARM ANIMAL ACTIVITIES RESULTING FROM THE INHERENT RISKS OF FARM ANIMAL ACTIVITIES.
As Extension committees and staff are can be a livestock show sponsor they shall post and maintain a sign that contains the warning prescribed by Subsection (f) if the livestock show sponsor manages or controls a stable, barn, corral, or arena at which the livestock show sponsor conducts a livestock show. The livestock show sponsor must post the sign in a clearly visible location near the stable, barn, corral, or arena.
The livestock show sponsor shall include the warning prescribed by Subsection (f) in every written contract that the sponsor enters into with a livestock show participant. The warning must be clearly readable.
The warning posted by a livestock show sponsor under this section must be as follows:
UNDER TEXAS LAW (CHAPTER 87, CIVIL PRACTICE AND REMEDIES CODE), A LIVESTOCK SHOW SPONSOR IS NOT LIABLE FOR AN INJURY TO OR THE DEATH OF A PARTICIPANT IN A LIVESTOCK SHOW RESULTING FROM THE INHERENT RISKS OF LIVESTOCK SHOW ACTIVITIES.