Missouri Revised Statutes

Chapter 270
Animals Restrained from Running at Large

August 28, 2013




Domestic animals restrained from running at large.

270.010. It shall be unlawful for the owner of any animal or animals of the species of horse, mule, ass, cattle, swine, sheep or goat, in this state, to permit the same to run at large outside the enclosure of the owner of such stock, and if any of the species of domestic animals aforesaid be found running at large, outside the enclosure of the owner, it shall be lawful for any person, and it is hereby made the duty of the sheriff or other officer having police powers, on his own view, or when notified by any other person that any of such stock is so running at large, to restrain the same forthwith, and such person or officer shall, within three days, give notice thereof to the owner, if known, in writing, stating therein the amount of compensation for feeding and keeping such animal or animals and damages claimed, and thereupon the owner shall pay the person, or officer, taking up such animal or animals a reasonable compensation for the taking up, keeping and feeding such animal, or animals, and shall also pay all persons damaged by reason of such animals running at large, the actual damages sustained by him or them; provided, that said owner shall not be responsible for any accident on a public road or highway if he establishes the fact that the said animal or animals were outside the enclosure through no fault or negligence of the owner. If the owner of such stock be not known, or if notified and fails to make compensation for the taking up, feeding and keeping of animals taken up under the provisions of this chapter, the same shall be deemed strays, and shall be dealt with in the same manner as required by law with respect to such property as strays, under the stray law. Any failure or refusal on the part of such officer to discharge the duties required of him by this section shall render him liable on his bond to any person damaged by such failure or refusal, which damages may be sued for and recovered in any court of competent jurisdiction.

(RSMo 1939 14463, A.L. 1945 p. 103)

Prior revisions: 1929 12797; 1919 4275; 1909 772



When notice not necessary.

270.020. If it shall appear and be proven on trial that the owner or owners of such domestic animals, as set forth in section 270.010, shall have actual notice that his or their said animals or stock were restrained, and by whom, and that the parties interested could not agree on the amount of damages demanded, then the three days' notice in writing as required by section 270.010 shall not be necessary to a recovery.

(RSMo 1939 14464)

Prior revisions: 1929 12798; 1919 4276; 1909 773



Appraisers may be appointed to assess damages.

270.030. If the owner of such stock so restrained and the taker-up, or the person damaged by such stock and the owner thereof, cannot agree upon the same, either party may apply to the circuit court of the county where said taker-up resides for the appointment of three appraisers to assess the damages done, or reasonable compensation for the taking up, keeping and feeding such stock, and it shall be the duty of the court to issue a notice to three disinterested householders of the county to appear at such place in said county as he may designate, and assess the damages or compensation as herein required.

(RSMo 1939 14465, A.L. 1945 p. 103, A.L. 1978 H.B. 1634)

Prior revisions: 1929 12799; 1919 4277; 1909 774

Effective 1-2-79



Appraisers' oath--assessment proceedings.

270.040. The persons so notified, or any two of them attending, shall take an oath that they will fairly and impartially assess the damages or compensation in controversy, and they shall make out, sign and deliver to each party a written statement of their assessment of damages or compensation, and upon the payment of the same and the expenses of said controversy, the owner of such stock shall be entitled to take the same away, and if refused, he may maintain an action therefor, as in case of wrongful taking or detention of property.

(RSMo 1939 14466)

Prior revisions: 1929 12800; 1919 4278; 1909 775



Fees.

270.050. The officer or person serving the notice shall be allowed a fee of thirty-five cents for each appraiser notified and five cents per mile as mileage to and from the place of service, and each appraiser shall be allowed a fee of fifty cents, which shall be paid by the owner of such stock before he shall be entitled to take such stock away; provided, that if said appraisers assess the amount of damages and compensation for taking up, keeping and feeding said animal or animals, at a less amount than the amount claimed by the taker-up on the written statement delivered to the owner, it shall be the duty of the taker-up of said animals to pay said costs.

(RSMo 1939 14467, A.L. 1945 p. 103)

Prior revisions: 1929 12801; 1919 4279; 1909 776



Lawful fence not necessary.

270.060. It shall not be necessary for any person to fence against any of the species of domestic animals enumerated in this chapter, and it shall be no defense to any action or proceeding brought or had, that the party taking up such stock did not have his lands enclosed with a lawful fence, but nothing herein contained shall be construed to lessen or interfere with the obligations of the several railroads in this state to fence the right-of-way of such railroads, as is now provided by law.

(RSMo 1939 14468)

Prior revisions: 1929 12802; 1919 4280; 1909 777

CROSS REFERENCE:

Damages for stock killed by train, 537.260



Animals may be driven along public highways.

270.070. Nothing contained in this law shall be construed as to prevent owners or other persons from driving any of the species of animals enumerated in this chapter from one place to another or along any public highway.

(RSMo 1939 14469)

Prior revisions: 1929 12803; 1919 4281; 1909 778



Swine or sheep taken up--notice to owner--considered feral hogs, when.

270.170. 1. If any swine or sheep shall be found running at large, contrary to the provisions of this chapter, it shall be lawful for any person on whose premises said swine or sheep shall be found to restrain the same forthwith, and give the owner, if known, notice in writing that such person has restrained said swine or sheep, and the amount of damages such person claims in the premises, and requiring the owner to take said swine or sheep away and pay such damages; and such owner shall pay such person a reasonable sum for taking up, feeding and caring for the same, and the actual damages done by said swine or sheep. If such owner fails to comply with the provisions of this section within three days after receiving such notice, or if the owner of such swine or sheep be unknown, such swine or sheep shall be disposed of in the manner provided for in section 270.180.

2. Any swine not conspicuously identified by ear tags or other forms of identification that were born in the wild or that lived outside of captivity for a sufficient length of time to be considered wild by nature by hiding from humans or being nocturnal shall be considered feral hogs. Any person may take or kill such feral hogs on such person's own property.

(RSMo 1939 14480, A.L. 2002 H.B. 1348)

Prior revisions: 1929 12814; 1919 4292; 1909 788



Proceedings before magistrate for sale--escheats.

270.180. 1. If the owner of any swine or sheep taken up under the provisions of this chapter be unknown, after three days' diligent inquiry by the taker-up, or if the owner of any swine or sheep taken up under the provisions of this chapter shall not, within three days after receiving notice as provided for in section 270.170, comply with the provisions of this chapter, the taker-up of such swine or sheep shall apply to an associate circuit judge of the county for the sale of such swine or sheep according to law.

2. Such associate circuit judge, being satisfied that the provisions of this chapter have been complied with, shall order the same to be sold by the sheriff after the expiration of fifteen days, who shall give notice and sell the same in the same manner as personal property may be sold on execution by a sheriff; and after paying the costs of sale, and of taking up and keeping the swine or sheep, and all damages done by the same, such sheriff shall pay the balance, if there be any, over to the county treasurer, and take his receipt therefor; which balance shall be subject to the order of the owner of such swine or sheep, if called for within twelve months after the sale, but if not called for, the same shall be turned over to the school fund of the county.

(RSMo 1939 14481, A.L. 1945 p. 103)

Prior revisions: 1929 12815; 1919 4293; 1909 789



Domestic geese to be restrained.

270.190. In all counties and townships that have adopted the provisions of this chapter, the owner of domestic geese shall keep the same upon his own premises and in his own enclosure, and if any such geese escape from the enclosure of the owner, they may be dealt with the same as all other animals, as provided by this chapter.

(RSMo 1939 14482)

Prior revisions: 1929 12816; 1919 4294; 1909 790



Prohibiting aged and deformed animals from running at large.

270.200. In all counties and townships that have adopted or may hereafter adopt the provisions of this chapter, every owner or other person having the legal care of any domestic animal of the species enumerated in section 270.010, who shall knowingly and purposely refuse to restrain the same from running at large, when its age, deformity, blindness or other infirmity would render nugatory the law providing for the sale thereof to pay costs and damages to any party who might take up said animal, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not less than five nor more than twenty dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not exceeding ten days.

(RSMo 1939 14483)

Prior revisions: 1929 12817; 1919 3657; 1909 4862



Stallions, mules and jackasses not to run at large, when--penalty.

270.210. If any stallion or any unaltered male mule or jackass, over the age of two years, be found running at large, the owner shall be fined, for the first offense three dollars, and for every subsequent offense not exceeding ten dollars, to be recovered by civil action before an associate circuit judge, in the name of any person who will prosecute for the same, one-half to his own use and the other half to the use of the county.

(RSMo 1939 14458)

Prior revisions: 1929 12792; 1919 4270; 1909 767



May be killed, when.

270.230. If any such horse, mule or jackass be running at large, and cannot be taken up, he may be killed, if notice be first put up at the courthouse door and at three other public places in the county, for ten days, describing the color, marks and brands, as near as practicable, of the animal, and that he will be killed unless taken away and secured.

(RSMo 1939 14460)

Prior revisions: 1929 12794; 1919 4272; 1909 769



Rams not to run at large, when.

270.240. All rams shall be restrained from going at large within this state, from the first day of May to the first of November in each year.

(RSMo 1939 14461)

Prior revisions: 1929 12795; 1919 4273; 1909 770



Bulls, rams and boars may be castrated, when.

270.250. If any bull or ram over one year old, or boar hog over three months old, shall be found going at large off the premises of or out of the enclosure or control of its owner or keeper, after three days' notice, signed by three residents of the township where such bull or ram or boar hog may be running at large, and the owner shall fail or neglect to take up or confine the same on or within his premises, it shall be lawful for any person to castrate any such bull or ram or boar hog, except that the same be done in the usual manner of castrating such animals, and so as to endanger the life of such as little as possible; and the person castrating any such bull or ram or boar hog, shall not be liable for any damage on account thereof; provided, that such male animal may be taken up and confined at once, by any person finding same at large, and where the owner is not known at the time, it shall be lawful for any person to take up such male and keep same in confinement for three days; and if such male is not reclaimed by owner during that time, and pay therefor to taker-up the sum of one dollar, then it shall be lawful to castrate such animal as if notice had been given.

(RSMo 1939 14462, A.L. 1990 H.B. 1070)

Prior revisions: 1929 12796; 1919 4274; 1909 771



Release of swine to live in wild or feral state, penalties.

270.260. 1. Any person who recklessly or knowingly releases any swine to live in a wild or feral state upon any public land or private land not completely enclosed by a fence capable of containing such animals is guilty of a class A misdemeanor. Each swine so released shall be a separate offense.

2. Every person who has previously pled guilty to or been found guilty of violating the provisions of this section, committed on two separate occasions where such offense occurred within ten years of the date of the occurrence of the present offense and who subsequently pleads guilty to or is found guilty of violating this section shall be guilty of a class D felony.

3. Nothing in this section shall be construed to criminalize the accidental escape of domestic swine.

(L. 2002 H.B. 1348, A.L. 2010 S.B. 795)



Russian or European wild boar or wild-caught swine, possessing or transporting through public land without a permit, penalty.

270.270. 1. Any person possessing or transporting live Russian or European wild boar or wild-caught swine on or through public land without a Missouri department of agriculture permit is guilty of a class A misdemeanor. Each violation of this subsection shall be a separate offense.

2. Any law enforcement officer, any agent of the conservation commission, or the state veterinarian is authorized to enforce the provisions of this section, section 270.260, and section 270.400.

(L. 2010 S.B. 795)



Killing of feral hogs, permitted when--Russian or European wild boar or wild-caught swine, fencing and health standards--animal health fund created.

270.400. 1. For purposes of this section, the term "feral hog" means any hog, including Russian and European wild boar, that is not conspicuously identified by ear tags or other forms of identification and is roaming freely upon public or private lands without the landowner's permission.

2. A person may kill a feral hog roaming freely upon such person's land and shall not be liable to the owner of the hog for the loss of the hog.

3. Any person may take or kill a feral hog on public land or private land with the consent of the landowner; except that, during the firearms deer and turkey hunting season the regulations of the Missouri wildlife code shall apply. Such person shall not be liable to the owner of the hog for the loss of such hog.

4. No person except a landowner or such landowner's agent on such landowner's property shall take, attempt to take, or kill a feral hog with the use of an artificial light.

5. The director of the department of agriculture shall promulgate rules for fencing and health standards for Russian and European wild boar and wild-caught swine held alive on private land. Any person holding Russian or European wild boar or wild-caught swine on private land shall annually submit an application to the department for a permit. Any applicant that successfully meets the requirements under this section as determined by the department and pays an application fee shall be issued a permit.

6. Russian and European wild boar and wild-caught swine may move only from a farm to a farm or directly to slaughter or to a slaughter-only market. The department shall promulgate rules for exemption permits and a fee structure to offset the actual and necessary costs incurred to enforce the provisions of this section.

7. (1) There is hereby created in the state treasury the "Animal Health Fund", which shall consist of all fees and administrative penalties collected by the department of agriculture under this section and section 270.260. The state treasurer shall be custodian of the fund. In accordance with sections 30.170 and 30.180, the state treasurer may approve disbursements. Upon appropriation, moneys in the fund shall be used for the administration of this section and section 270.260.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 33.080 to the contrary, any moneys remaining in the fund at the end of the biennium shall not revert to the credit of the general revenue fund.

(3) The state treasurer shall invest moneys in the fund in the same manner as other funds are invested. Any interest and moneys earned on such investments shall be credited to the fund.

8. Any person who violates subsection 2 of section 270.260 may, in addition to the penalty imposed under section 270.260, be assessed an administrative penalty of up to one thousand dollars per violation. Any person who is assessed an administrative penalty under this section shall be notified in writing of the right to appeal. Such person may request a hearing before the director of the department of agriculture. Such request shall be made in writing no later than thirty days after the date on which the person was notified of the violation of section 270.260.

9. Any rule or portion of a rule, as that term is defined in section 536.010, that is created under the authority delegated in this section shall become effective only if it complies with and is subject to all of the provisions of chapter 536 and, if applicable, section 536.028. This section and chapter 536 are nonseverable and if any of the powers vested with the general assembly pursuant to chapter 536 to review, to delay the effective date, or to disapprove and annul a rule are subsequently held unconstitutional, then the grant of rulemaking authority and any rule proposed or adopted after August 28, 2010, shall be invalid and void.

10. Nothing in this section shall be construed to apply to domestic swine.

(L. 2002 H.B. 1348, A.L. 2010 S.B. 795)

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