injured calves in rented pasture

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Well-known member
Apr 24, 2004
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I have had 2 calves get injured in a pasture I rented. There seems to be ALOT of old barbed wire and mesh buried. I have cut and dug out 2 truck loads so far with many more to go. One of the claves cut her leg so deep it will have to be amputated. My question...... who is responsible for cleaning this up? Do I have any legal recourse? My lease says..." Lessee shall indemnify, defend and hold lessor harmless from all liability, claims, demands, expeses , and costs which may arise, which include damage to persons or property, as a result of the use of the property."
Sounds self explanitory to me. Maybe if it is that bad, you ought to find other pasture to lease.
I think I would atleast mention it to the landlord, maybe some cost of rent could be negotiated if you do the clean up. But legally it sounds like they have themselves covered. Sorry about the calf.
By signing your agreement in those terms you may be stuck but if your set on pursuing it I would contact a lawyer. It may be that if the landowner new of all this and had you sign this agreement just to cover his butt because he figured on some injury to your cattle from it but leased it anyway you might be able to get around it. Either way sounds like you need to be looking for different pasture for your cattle.
I think you're out of luck. As mentioned previously, it's clear what the lease states. You can call the owner and tell him about the wire and the risk to your cattle, but there's every chance he won't be concerned. I would at least ask if he would consider helping / paying for the removal of the wire, or ask for whatever $$ is left on the lease be paid back, and find another property. It's sure not worth the risk to your livestock.

:cry: I'm sorry to hear about your calf.
From what I read, it appears you are responsible for any damages. At this point, I would sit back and evaluate the situation.

- Can you clean up the rest of the pasture before you go broke with injured animals, or should you remove the cattle and find another place?

If you do find another place I would suggest covering the whole pasture on horse back, foot, or 4-wheeler. Inspect all fences and look for any hazards before you sign another lease. If it needs a lot of repair or clean-up, negotiate that in the lease beforehand, or keep looking.
I think there is a good lesson here. I just leased (long term ) a small farm. I covered every inch of the property several times to examine fencing, water, wire, rocks, soil tested it, etc. Did an estimate of what it would cost me to bring it up to snuff for the safe handling of some of our excess cattle. The lease was very inexpensive, I wrote the actual lease and gave it to them for comment. I figured how many years it would take me to recoup my costs and went for it.

Need to do your homework when you take on leased property, and yes evaluate for hazards.

As for your case, you are stuck, and I wouldn't spend one dime on some lawyer to tell me so.