LAW 512-001 – Torts II

Trespassing Animals


There are four different rules in use for trespassing animals:

  1. Some courts impose no strict liability for trespassing animals and just use a negligence standard.
  2. Common Law Trespassing Animals Rule

    The owner of animals likely to roam and do damage is strictly liable for their trespasses.

    An owner is strictly liable for the damage done by the trespass of animals as long as it was reasonably foreseeable.

    Livestock straying from a highway on which they are lawfully being driven are exempt.

    Dogs and cats are not included.

  3. Fencing Out Statute

    A fencing out statute states that there is strict liability for the owner of an animal that breaks through another's properly fenced-out land.

  4. Fencing In Statute

    A fencing in statute holds an owner of animals strictly liable if an animal is not properly restrained.

    If the animal is fenced in properly and escapes anyway, there are three different responses:

    1. No strict liability, instead just using negligence
    2. Strict liability
    3. Common Law Trespassing Animals Rule

      The owner of animals likely to roam and do damage is strictly liable for their trespasses.

      An owner is strictly liable for the damage done by the trespass of animals as long as it was reasonably foreseeable.

      Livestock straying from a highway on which they are lawfully being driven are exempt.

      Dogs and cats are not included.