How to Enforce Texas Stock Breeder's Lien

Fortunately, unlike many states, Texas does not require holders of stock breeder's liens to file suit or involve the courts in order to enforce their liens—provided the enforcement provisions in the statute are precisely followed.

If you own or stand a stallion and a mare owner does not pay for the breeding services, you have a stock breeder’s lien on the resulting foal (but not the mare) under Section 70.201 of the Texas Property Code. You may sell the foal in a public sale and apply the proceeds to the unpaid stallion fee and related service charges. Your lien remains in force for 10 months after the date the foal is born, but importantly, it cannot be enforced until 5 months after the date the foal is born.

Note: If you are in possession of the mare that was bred and the owner has not paid for board on the mare, you may also have a stable keeper’s lien on the mare and may enforce it as set forth in my previous blog entry, How to Enforce Texas Stable Keeper's Lien.

STEP 1

As soon as it becomes apparent that the mare owner is not going to pay for the breeding services, it is advisable (but not required) that you file a UCC Financing Statement putting the world on notice that you have a lien on the resulting foal (whether born or unborn at the time the debt accrues) for unpaid stallion service. The Financing Statement is best filed in both the county where you stand the stallion as well as with the Texas Secretary of State. Be sure to provide sufficient information in the Financing Statement to identify the foal (registered names and registration numbers of your stallion and the mare; date and place of stallion service, etc.) Instructions on filing the Financing Statement can be found at the Texas Secretary of State's website.

STEP 2

When the foal turns 5 months of age, send a notice of sale to the debtor.  For a form of the notice of sale, click here.

STEP 3

Sell the foal at a public sale 30 days or more after you send the notice of sale referenced in Step 2.

Note: If you are not in possession of the foal when it becomes 5 months of age, you may need to take your notice of sale and UCC Financing Statement to the sheriff’s office of the county where the foal is located and have them help you seize the foal so it can be sold.

Overview of Texas Stock Breeder's Lien

Who has a stock breeder’s lien, and to which animal(s) does the lien apply? An owner or keeper of a stallion, jack, bull, or boar confined to be bred for profit has a preference lien on the offspring of the animal for the amount of the charges for the breeding services, unless the owner or keeper misrepresents the animal by false pedigree. In the case of a stallion, the lien would be on the foal resulting from the breeding, but would not extend to the mare that was serviced by the stallion.

How long does the stock breeder’s lien last? The stock breeder’s lien remains in force for 10 months from the day that the foal is born, but the lien may not be enforced until five months after the date of birth of the foal. The lien exists during these time parameters, regardless of whether the mare or foal is still in the possession of the stallion owner.

How is the stock breeder’s lien enforced? Your foreclosure has to comply with Sections 54.044 and 54.045 of the Texas Property Code. The stallion owner would seize the foal produced by the stallion, usually with the assistance of the sheriff’s department. Before selling the foal at public auction, the stallion owner must first send the mare owner a written notice complying with Section 54.045 of the Texas Property Code.

This entry addresses only the law in Texas.  The University of Vermont's website, Equine Law and Horsemanship Safety, provides a list of breeder's liens in other states (scroll to bottom to find your state).