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Compensation for Prize Bull mistakenly shot and killed

In 2018, Roche Legal assisted a client claim compensation when an unauthorised person entered his property and mistakenly shot and killed a prize bull which was being raised and groomed for competition and sire purposes.

In 2018, a client of Roche Legal was living on leased farmland and raised cattle. In particular, the farmer was in the early stages of establishing a line of prize-winning cattle. He had spent considerable time searching for an ideal Brangus bull, the type and quality of which could reproduce and be the foundation of a stud program.

A prize-winning Brangus bull was sourced to be the sire (father) and mate with our client’s carefully selected dam (mother) to produce calves which were the type and quality of the parents which our client could base his herd on. For reference, the prize-winning sire had previously produced bulls which had fetched auction prices of up to $50,000.

Unfortunately, unbeknownst and without our client’s permission, the landlord gave a nearby shooting range and Gun Club permission to use some of the client’s leased land to go hunting on the property. The landowner was not entitled to grant such permission without the express consent from the lessee, creating a trespass scenario.

During the hunting expedition, a member of the Gun Club shot and killed our client’s prize bull, the foundation of the stud program. Responsibly, the Gun Club notified our client of the incident and admitted fault. The claim however was made against the Gun Club’s public liability insurer which (unsurprisingly for an insurance company) denied liability.

Despite the unreasonable liability denial, our client successfully claimed compensation from the Gun Club’s public liability insurer for:

  • Pregnancy costs for mating the deceased bull with a recipient cow including artificial insemination straws
  • Cartage costs to and from the cattle breeding centre
  • The cost of grain feed, and supplements already administered to the deceased prize bull
  • The cost of vaccinations and drenching already administered to the deceased prize bull
  • The present value of the bull
  • Loss of Future earnings through the inability to breed from the bull

If you require assistance for a general compensation claim, contact Roche Legal for a free initial consultation.

This commentary is published by Roche Legal for general information purposes only and should not be relied on as specific advice. The content relates to Queensland law only and is subject to change over time. You should seek legal advice for any question, or for any specific situation or proposal, before making any decision.