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Warning of increase in “livery yard dumping”
Lucy Higginson, editor of Horse & Hound, reports that many horse owners are finding it difficult to pay for their horses’ keep. She says “We have come across examples of livery yard dumping, where somebody moves their horse in and provides a false name, address and phone number. Then after a week or two they just vanish, leaving the animal on the premises.”
So what can you do if a horse is abandoned in your livery yard? If you have to rely on the general law, not much unless you are prepared to serve a legal notice and wait three months, during which you (usually) can’t charge livery – see Lawhorse 16 November 2011. Most sanctuaries are full to bursting (see the report from Redwings here) and are unlikely to take the horse off your hands. But if you have a well-drafted Livery Contract it should cover the risk of the owner not paying you or, even worse, disappearing. The Livery Contract should contain a right to for you sell the horse on short notice and recoup what you are owed.