Vet clinic has frozen semen in storage that hasn't had the storage fees paid in ages. Vet clinic thinks enough is enough and offers the semen for the cost of the back storage fees. I believe that it's been over a year, maybe two, but is there any sort of grace period that should be expected? At this point, is it theirs to sell, throw away, whatever? I would hate to buy it and have original owners appear out of nowhere wanting their semen back!
hmmm.... tricky. i think if i were considering buying i would want all documentation from vet warning previous owner of intent to sell. i might also pick up the phone and check with an attorney that they'd think i'd be safe.
if it starts smelling bad, just go to the s.o. and spend a few more bucks getting the semen you want from source.
You might check with the stallion owner to see if they are okay with it. I had a clinic call saying that they had Silver Lining frozen semen that had been in storage for years and that the owner of the semen (the previous owner of the stallion) had disappeared. They have been using the semen for years on client mares. I offered to issue breeding certificates for the foals from the semen to cover the costs of the storage/freezing/collection fees for the semen and have the remaining semen shipped to us, but they are not returning my calls now. In my opinion, they neither own the semen or the rights to use the semen unless they received authorization from the previous owner. If anything, they should seek payment through the appropriate channels and have the semen destroyed (of course the owner should be notified by certified mail that this will happen past a certain date).
The clinic should officially seize the property through recognized means before offering it for sale or before using it. Yes, the owner could give you some real problems if they show up 1 day after the mare has been inseminated. The semen is the property of the owner until the clinic seizes the property according to whatever state law governs such things. It is likely a more complicated process than them just deciding to sell it. This has the potential to give you some big headaches.
The semen is foreign semen bought by the dose, not any part of a LFG contract, if that makes a difference in people's opinion. Owner lost interest according to vet clinic, is no longer breeding, won't pay their bills, and is non responsive. Clinic says that they need the space. Seems like such a waste to let them throw it away but it sounds like it could be more trouble than it's worth. Any positive thoughts though?
It will vary by state. In Missouri, you have to have a record of all attempts to contact the owner, with the last step being sending a certified letter. When we have to send a certified letter, we make it a notarized letter, just to be on the safe side. Property that has been legally classified as unclaimed (i.e. no response to certified contact by the date you specified, which is usually within 30 days of receipt) can then be destroyed, or sold at public auction to recoup debts on the account. The public auction thing is the sticking point; here you can't just offer it to a single person, it has to be put up for public auction (with a public notice) just like foreclosed real-estate. It is a pain; we unfortunately had to deal with this with some very expensive frozen canine semen. We opted to destroy it, versus dealing with selling it to someone else. Again, this will all vary state to state.