1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Agistment
AGISTMENT. To “agist” (from O. Fr. agister, derived from gésir—Lat. jacere—to lie) is, in 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 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.