To agist is, in English law, to take cattle to graze, for a remuneration. Agistment, in the first instance, referred more particularly to the proceeds of pasturage in the king's forests, but now means either (a) the contract for taking in and feeding horses or other cattle on pasture land, for the consideration of a weekly payment of money, or (b) the profit derived from such pasturing. Agistment is a contract of bailment, and the bailer is bound to take reasonable care of the animals entrusted to him; he is responsible for damages and injury which result from ordinary casualties, if it be proved that such might have been prevented by the exercise of great care. There is no lien on the cattle for the price of the agistment, unless by express agreement. Under the Agricultural Holdings Act of 1883, agisted cattle cannot be distrained on for rent if there be other sufficient distress to be found, and if such other distress be not found, and the cattle be distrained, the owner may redeem them on paying the price of their agistment. The tithe of agistment or "tithe of cattle and other produce of grass lands," was formally abolished by the act of union in 1707, on a motion submitted with a view to defeat that measure.

Agisters, in the United Kingdom were formerly the officers of the forest empowered to collect the agistment. They have been re-established in the New Forest to carry out the daily duties of administering the forest. In the Western United States, agisters are land holders who hold themselves out as providing pasturage services, or who seek to enforce agistment liens.


In Australia, agistment is commonly used in drought, where stock on a drought affected property are agisted to a drought free property somewhere else in the country. The stock may travel to the alternate pasture by truck or by travelling stock route.



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