Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Bill to Amend Livestock Liability Laws Passes Ohio House

St. Rep. Danny Bubp
COLUMBUS—State Representative Danny R. Bubp (R-West Union) announced that House Bill 22 today passed from the Ohio House of Representatives by a vote of 96-0. This legislation revises laws regarding civil and criminal penalties levied against livestock owners.
House Bill 22 would ensure that livestock owners whose animals are intentionally set free by an unauthorized person opening a gate or cutting a fence would not be prosecuted for failing to keep their livestock from running at large. Under current law, a livestock owner would have criminal liability for circumstances beyond their control, regardless of how responsible the owner is.
“I’m pleased that House Bill 22 passed from the Ohio House with strong bipartisan support,” said Bubp. “This legislation is necessary so we can fine-tune Ohio’s agriculture laws and avoid unfair financial burdens on our local farms.”
According to House Bill 22, in cases where animals escape due to a storm or a neighborhood prank, the owner would not be liable if proven that he or she acted in a reasonably prudent manner to prevent or rectify the escape. Alternatively, liability would be imposed if the animal owner or keeper recklessly fails to maintain barns, fences and gates.
House Bill 22 was introduced at the request of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and the Ohio State Bar Association. It will now move to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.