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.


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?

|improve this answer|||||
  • 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 '18 at 4:05
  • 1
    @Greendrake that sounds like a penalty - penalties are unenforceable in a contract. – Dale M Dec 19 '18 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 '18 at 17:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.