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Agistment Register

Agistment provides a wide range of alternatives both for stock and property owner's, however before entering into any arrangement its important that all parties are understand their responsibilities and rights. New South Wales and Victorian Governments provide a number of interesting articles dealing with this subject.

Agistment is a feeding option available when feed is short on the home property. It may be taken up when the economics of hand feeding (with associated labour involvement) are judged more expensive. Long-term returns, often overlooked in initial calculations, may favour good agistment over the maintenance feeding of stock during prolonged dry spells. New South Wales Department of Primary Industries have published Agistment Guidelines a variety of issues relating to agistment. The Department of Primary Industries Victoria provide advice on Contracts for Agistment of Stock including aspects of consideration from both parties.

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Responsibilities

The agistment contract should describe the responsibilities of the livestock owner and the agistor. It should also set out procedures for dealing with problems which could arise.
Although an experienced legal adviser should prepare the agistment contract, you need to provide this adviser with relevant information about your requirements.

Livestock owners are normally responsible for:-

  • paying all costs for care of their stock;
  • informing agistors of diseases affecting their stock, and treatment required;
  • insurance for their stock, and against any damage they may cause;
  • checking stock routinely to ensure conditions of the agreement are being met; and
  • ensuring that the agistor can contact the owner or owner's representative in an emergency.
Agistors are usually responsible for:-
  • advising owners if for any reason, the site becomes unsuitable for agistment eg if dams are contaminated with blue-green algae, or diseased stock are present;
  • advising owners of disease, accident or injury to stock (but would not be liable unless this was due to negligence);
  • sending invoices and a final notice of the planned sale of their stock to recover costs;
  • allowing the owner access to records of agistment costs and proceeds from the sale of stock for a set period, and any money left over after deducting agistment costs.
 
 
Agistors may require:-
  • a lien over the stock until the agistment debt is paid;
  • power of attorney concerning the stock and progeny so that the agistor has the power to sell the stock after all reasonable efforts have been made to obtain outstanding agistment payment from the owner;
  • indemnity from the owner signing the contract, for agreed costs eg veterinary costs;
  • the stock owner to be liable for any residual debt not covered by the sale; and
  • the right to update stud books so that thoroughbreds can be sold at true value.
  • The following may be set out in a contract to protect owners against wrongful sale of the stock:-
  • minimum period that the debt may remain outstanding before the stock are sold;
  • payment of a specified proportion of debt to postpone the sale of stock for a specified period;
  • notice of public auction of the stock to be advertised in a specified newspaper.
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All rights reserved. Revised: October 22, 2019 .