University of Maryland Extension

Understanding Agricultural Liability: Livestock and Other Animals (FS-990)

Understanding Agricultural Liability: Livestock and Other Animals (FS-990, 2014), discusses potential liability for livestock and other animals you may have on the farm.  Typical theories for liability would include strict liability and negligence.  This publication walks you through previous Maryland court cases involving livestock and when each form of liability was found.  Finally, the publication offers suggestions on how to handle potential legal risks from livestock, for example utilizing liability waivers, purchasing the right level of general liability insurance, etc.

Along with this publication, remember we have information available on hanging a “Beware of Dog” sign (  We also have a checklist available for developing a liability waiver for your operation (

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