When I sell a domestic animal, can I impose a condition that the animal is kept as a pet and never killed for meat? If the new owner breaches this condition, will I be able to hold them to account?

This would be analogous to listed buildings: you can own them but you can't demolish or alter them significantly.

Jurisdiction: any English-speaking country.

1 Answer 1


You generally have freedom of contract so you can put whatever conditions you like on the sale.

In practice, a court would probably consider such a term a collateral contract so that a breach would not invalidate the main contract.

For your particular example, enforcement would be problematic: if they breach the term, what damage have you suffered?

  • The damage would be emotional only so hard to quantify. But if the condition was "if you kill the animal you pay me $1000 full stop", would I still have to prove damages?
    – Greendrake
    Dec 19, 2018 at 4:05
  • 1
    @Greendrake that sounds like a penalty - penalties are unenforceable in a contract.
    – Dale M
    Dec 19, 2018 at 4:08
  • Some animal rescue organizations have restrictions--return animal to us, inspections. I don't know if they're enforceable.
    – mkennedy
    Dec 19, 2018 at 17:31

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