Under NY Town Law § 310, if a person has any strayed horses, cattle, sheep, swine, goats or other livestock animal upon their property which is not adjoined to the livestock owner’s property (in other words, not your immediate neighbor), then that person may have a lien claim against the stray animals. The livestock must have caused property damage and the escape of the livestock must have been caused by the livestock owner’s neglect to make or maintain a fence. Upon foreclosure, the lien may be used to satisfy the reasonable fees and costs made to repair the property.
The owner of the stray must be given written notice within thirty (30) days of the stray coming unto the lienor’s land, unless the owner of the stray is not known, in which case a notice must run in the nearest county newspaper for two successive weeks. See NY Town § 313. If the notice procedures are followed and the owner of the stray does not redeem the animal, then the lienor may foreclose. However, if the notice procedures are not followed, then the lienor’s rights are not perfected and the lienor then loses any entitlement to damages and instead becomes liable for costs and expenses incurred by reason of keeping the animals. See NY Town § 316.
This is an excerpt from my first book that I co-authored with Pat Dillon, an Iowa agriculture lawyer titled “Field Manual: Legal Guide for New York Farmers and Food Entrepreneurs” available on CreateSpace, Amazon, Kindle and iBooks. You can find out more about this book here.