Terms and conditions

1.     General provisions

MASTERRIND GmbH (referred to hereinafter as “MASTERRIND” or the “Commission Agent”), Osterkrug 20, 27283 Verden, Germany, sells or auctions Holstein Friesian, German Red Pied and beef cattle in its own name and for third-party account (transactions on commission basis within the meaning of Sections 383 et seq. of the German Commercial Code (HGB)). In a transaction on commission basis, or an agency transaction, the Seller is the animal owner, on whose behalf MASTERRIND acts as an agent only. Sales are made by organising auctions and by selling in halls, assembly centres, or on the Principal’s premises (farmgate sales).


1.1.     These Standard Terms of Business apply exclusively to all cattle sales transactions.

1.2.     The animals put up for sale have been changed since birth by different barn conditions, rearing conditions, feeding, veterinary treatments and vaccinations as well as by other factors and are no longer in their original condition. In legal terms, they must therefore be treated as used items.

1.3.     Each buyer, participant and visitor at a MASTERRIND event bears strict liability for damages that they, their vicarious agents or their animals cause.

1.4.     The instructions given by MASTERRIND staff must be obeyed at all MASTERRIND auctions.

1.5.     MASTERRIND has the right to make changes to the procedure at sales events.

1.6.     Each Seller and each Buyer is bound by their bid. Withdrawing a bid or from a contract is permitted only if expressly agreed.

1.7.     The risk and liability for the animals sold shall pass to the Buyer on acceptance of the offer to buy, unless otherwise and expressly agreed (e.g. export transactions, sales with a transport agreement, etc.). Pursuant to Section 930 of the German Civil Code (BGB), ownership is not transferred until full payment has been made. If the Buyer arranges for or commissions the vaccination of the livestock, or if the livestock is placed in a commission barn, this precludes the livestock remaining in the barn of origin, and the Buyer assumes the risk and liability for the animals on making the change.

1.8.            The date of acceptance is the date on which the purchase contract is accepted by the Buyer.

1.9.     Only persons expressly commissioned by the Commission Agent have the right to remove the animals.

1.10.   The Commission Agent (MASTERRIND) fulfils its obligations pursuant to the provisions of the Livestock Transport Regulation (VVVO). It is not responsible for the obligations of upstream and downstream operators.

1.11.   MASTERRIND has the right to take over the animals itself in a capacity as Buyer. In doing so, it is bound by the agreed price.

1.12.   MASTERRIND has the right to purchase livestock from the Principal, subject to the condition precedent that the cattle meet the conditions specified by the Buyer. In such a case, the Principal is bound by the offer until MASTERRIND notifies it of its decision.

1.13.   Agreed delivery dates are binding; partial deliveries are permitted.

1.14.   MASTERRIND’s decision-making power:

The Principal and the Buyer authorise MASTERRIND to enforce all claims arising from purchase transactions vis-à-vis the Buyer and the Principal.

If MASTERRIND fails to reach an amicable settlement of a dispute, MASTERRIND has the right but not the obligation to bring a court action itself in the name of one party against the other party, but it may refer the parties instead to their rights of legal recourse.

1.15.   The place of performance and place of jurisdiction for any claims arising from purchase transactions and from any related claims is Verden.


2. Billing, payment and retention of title

2.1.    The purchase price plus commission fees and ancillary costs (final price to the Buyer) is due for payment when the purchase contract is concluded.

2.2.    The invoice amount shall be paid to MASTERRIND in accordance with the invoice. Costs and interest arising from the place and method of payment shall be borne by the Buyer. Cheques or other cashless means of payment shall not be deemed to be payment until they have been finally credited to MASTERRIND’s bank account. The Buyer irrevocably waives its right to stop cheques.

2.3.    The Principal shall remain the owner of all animals delivered (in the case of beef cattle the meat products resulting from processing) until all claims arising from the entire business relationship with the Buyer have been paid in full.

2.4.    The retention of title also extends to the full value of the products that ensue from processing, mixing or combining the goods. If third parties retain their ownership rights when the retained-title goods are processed, mixed or combined with third-party goods, the Principal shall acquire co-ownership in proportion to the invoice values of these processed goods.

2.5.    Until and unless revoked by MASTERRIND, Buyer has the right, to sell and to process the retained-title goods in the ordinary course of business, as long as it does not default on its payments. Pledges and transfers of ownership by way of security, as well as all other measures that impair the Seller’s security, are not permitted. The Buyer hereby assigns to Seller any and all receivables arising from the sale and processing of the purchased item, or for any other legal reason relating to the purchased item, in total or to the amount of any co-ownership share on the part of the Seller, as applicable.

2.6.    The Buyer does not have the right to assign any receivables accruing to the Buyer from unpaid livestock and their resale, or from the resale of processed livestock to third parties. This principle also applies to the collection of receivables by factoring, unless the factor is simultaneously obligated to have the counter-performance to the amount of the Commission Agent’s share in the receivable paid directly to the latter for as long as the Seller still has amounts receivable from the Buyer.

2.7.    The goods, or the receivables that take their place, may not be pledged, or ownership in them transferred by way of security, before the Seller’s receivables have been paid in full.

2.8.    The Buyer shall provide MASTERRIND, as the representative of the Seller, with the name and address of the debtor and the amount receivable, on request. The Commission Agent has the right to disclose the assignment.

2.9.    The Buyer shall provide the Commission Agent with the documents needed to determine the whereabouts of the purchased item (e.g. slaughter lists, traceability records).

2.10.  The Buyer shall inform the Commission Agent Buyer immediately in writing – by registered letter – if third parties seize or confiscate the purchased item, and shall draw attention to the Seller’s retention of title.

2.11   Any power of disposition on the part of the Buyer in respect of the livestock delivered subject to retention of title, and any receivables from the sale or utilisation of livestock that are assigned as security, shall end when an application is made for insolvency proceedings to be opened against the assets of the Buyer, but no later than a court order for debtor protection, creditor protection, or other security or enforcement measures relating directly or indirectly to the collateral or the claims assigned as security.


3. Agreement on health and physical condition of livestock


3.1.     The following sales standards for breeding, productive and beef cattle describe the condition of the animals, and form the subject-matter of the Buyer’s claim to contractual fulfilment. Neither the Principal nor the Commission Agent shall determine any further condition characteristics with regard to performance, health or other properties, nor are these owed by the Seller or subject-matter of the respective purchase contract.

3.2.     The Seller and the Commission Agent bear no liability for damage caused by infectious diseases, or for consequential damage caused by such infectious diseases that are transferred from one barn to the next or from the point of sale to other animals. In that respect, a general exclusion of liability is agreed unless the Seller has wilfully or grossly negligently concealed the fact that its barn or its animal has been infected with an infectious disease.

3.3.     Parentage, catalogue details

Breeding animals are described in the breeding certificate and, where applicable, in the auction catalogue, in terms of parentage, age, performance and service dates, in accordance with the breeding book regulations of the Hanover Cattle Breeders’ Association (ZEH). The details provided in the breeding certificate shall apply in cases of doubt.

3.4.     Pregnancy

An animal shall be deemed to be pregnant if at least twelve weeks have elapsed between the last service date and the transfer of risk.

A pregnancy shall be considered normal if the period between the last service date and calving does not exceed 295 days.

The service date or period shall be determined by referring to the details provided by the Principal.

3.5.     Veterinary status

The farms of origin of the animals sold are subject to continuous supervision by an official veterinarian. The Principal warrants compliance with the applicable veterinary regulations governing livestock transport.

3.6.     Mating and insemination by male breeding animals

The condition of a breeding bull as fit for breeding, in terms of its pedigree and external appearance (i.e. its fitness for breeding within the meaning of the breeding book regulations), shall be deemed agreed only after prior certification examination and confirmation by MASTERRIND. Due to the high costs for examinations, the ability of a breeding bull to mate and fertilise is not part of the agreed condition.

If MASTERRIND and the Buyer have agreed in a separate written agreement, for a separate fee, that an individual breeding bull specified in the agreement is able to mate and fertilise, this ability to fertilise is deemed to exist if, in herds with undisturbed fertility, more than 50% of at least ten animals in good heats and served once become pregnant within six weeks of service by the bull.


3.7.     Anatomical infertility of female animals

Calves sold for breeding and young cattle shall be free of anatomical deformities of the reproductive organs that rule out their use for breeding purposes.

3.8.     Concealed congenital defects

Congenital defects in breeding animals, such as umbilical hernia, etc., have not been surgically removed.

3.9.     Udder health and the condition of birth canals

The following principles apply to udder health and the condition of birth canals in dairy-bred cattle:

Pregnant and freshly calved cows shall be free of blind udder quarters and teat occlusions at the transfer of risk.

The clinical health of udders and birth canals shall be certified by a veterinary certificate to be obtained on behalf of the Principal before the transfer of risk.

3.10.   Milk flow

Breeding heifers with calves at foot shall have normal milk flow. Ten days after being moved to the Buyer’s barn, the animals in question shall have an average milk yield per minute, established according to the rules defined by the German Cattle Breeders’ Federation (ADR), of at least 1.8 kg per minute.

3.11.   Weight of productive livestock

If the weight measurement of productive livestock is subject-matter of the purchase contract, the weight measured by the Commission Agent or by the Seller shall apply with a tolerance of + 5%.

3.12.   Non-pregnancy of productive livestock for fattening

The productive livestock offered for fattening shall not be pregnant.

3.13.   Beef cattle

In the case of beef cattle, fitness for human consumption is agreed exclusively.


4. Obligation to give notice of defect

4.1.     The Buyer shall inspect the cattle immediately after acceptance or delivery and shall notify the Commission Agent without delay, in writing or by fax or eMail if there is any deviation from the agreed condition. If the Buyer fails to notify, the animals shall be deemed approved, despite deviations from the agreed condition.

4.2.     Visible damage to animals in transit shall be noted on the delivery note, which shall be handed back to the carrier for reporting to MASTERRIND or to the Principal. The animals shall otherwise be deemed to be healthy and properly delivered.


5. Liability for defects

5.1.     The Principals (Sellers) bear liability only for compliance with the condition characteristics of animals in the respective sales category, as specified in Section 3 above. All animals are otherwise deemed to be sold ‘as seen’, with exclusion of any further liability for material defects. Consequential damages of whatever kind are excluded from liability.

5.2.     Liability for catalogue details and parentage

If the Buyer proves by means of generally accepted genetic engineering methods that the parentage of a breeding animal or embryo differs from the details on the breeding certificate, it has the right to nullify the contract or to reduce the price.

a)      Breeding animals

The purchase shall be nullified. The Buyer shall additionally be reimbursed the costs for the genetic analysis, as well as a feed allowance currently amounting to € 3.00 per day, for the period between receiving and returning the animal.

The notification period is three months as from the transfer of risk.

b)      Embryos

The Buyer is entitled to reimbursement of the inspection costs and to a reasonable reduction in the purchase price, namely

- by 15% in the case of a female bovine embryo and

- by 10% in the case of a male bovine embryo.

The notification period is twenty months as from the transfer of risk in respect of the parent animal.

5.3.     Pregnancy

a)   In order to maintain its warranty rights, the Buyer must prove a lack of pregnancy or an extended pregnancy within a period of six weeks after the transfer of risk, in the case of non-pregnancy, and within ten days after the 295th day of pregnancy in the case of an extended pregnancy, and shall do so by means of a veterinary certificate.

b)   If a non-pregnancy is alleged, certification that calving can be ruled out must be obtained from the veterinarian.

The Buyer has the right to send the animal to slaughter, when ordered by the Commission Agent, and is entitled to the difference between the final price to the Buyer and the slaughtered animal’s meat value, plus a feed allowance currently amounting to € 3 per day from the date of risk transfer to the slaughter date.

c)   In the case of an extended pregnancy beyond the 295th day as from the last stated service date, the Buyer is entitled to a feed allowance currently amounting to € 3 per day as from the 295th day of pregnancy.

5.4.      Incorrect veterinary certificates

If the Buyer proves by means of an official veterinary certificate that the official or other veterinary certificates accompanying the purchased item were incorrect, the Commission Agent must be notified thereof in writing within 14 days after the transfer of risk, for forwarding to the certifying veterinarians. No liability on the part of the Commission Agent shall be accepted.

5.5.     Mating and insemination by male breeding animals

No liability on the part of MASTERRIND shall be accepted for mating inability and/or infertility of breeding bulls. An agreement on the mating ability and fertility of breeding bulls, to be concluded in writing and for which a separate fee is payable, can be concluded in accordance to sub-section 3.6 above (cf. sub-section 3.6.). In such a case, compensation shall be paid only in accordance with the provisions laid down in the separate written agreement. MASTERRIND assumes no risk of breeding bulls sold as beef cattle being unable to mate and fertilise.

The notification periods, as from the transfer of risk, are as follows:

           - six weeks in the case of non-service and

           - four months in the case of non-fertilisation.

5.6.     Anatomical infertility of female breeding animals

           If the Buyer proves by means of a veterinary certificate that the cattle is anatomically unfit for breeding (e.g. a chimera, hermaphrodite or freemartin), compensation shall be as follows:

a)      The Buyer is entitled to reimbursement of the final purchase price for all dairy breeds. The animal shall remain with the Buyer as compensation for rearing and inspection costs.

b)   In the case of animals from a beef cattle breed, the Buyer has the right to nullify the contract. It shall also be granted a feed allowance, currently amounting to € 2.00 per day, as from the risk transfer date until the date on which the defect is discovered.

The notification period is 27 months as from the transfer of risk.

5.7.     Concealed congenital defects

If the Buyer proves by means of a veterinary certificate that an hereditary defect has been surgically concealed, it has the right to nullify the contract.

           The notification period is seven days as from the transfer of risk.

5.8.     Udder health

           Udder defects must be notified to the Commission Agent without delay and in the form of veterinary certificates.

The notification period are as follows:

           - three days as from the transfer of risk in the case of calved cattle and

           - ten days as from calving in the case of pregnant cattle, but no more than 45 days as from the transfer of risk.

           In the event of proven defects, the Buyer is entitled to the following purchase price reductions:

a)   -      milk produced by only three teats:    15%

b)   -      milk produced by only two teats:      20%

c)   other udder defects (fistula, milk duct fused with a teat)

The amount of reduction in the case of c) shall be set by the Commission Agent at its reasonable discretion and shall be between 10% and 30% of the purchase price.

         Settling of damages is limited to sales within Germany.

5.9.      Milk flow

           If the Buyer proves, by means of a written certificate issued by its milk supervisory body, that the milk flow in a milkability test conducted in accordance with ADR rules is less than the 1.8 kg per minute average milk yield for an animal sold as calved, it is entitled to a reduction in the purchase price.

a)   by 15% if the average milk yield is between 1.8 and 1.5 kg per minute,

b)   by 30% if the average milk yield is between 1.5 and 1.2 kg per minute.

c)   if the average milk yield is less than 1.2 kg per minute, it has the right to nullify the purchase contract or to claim a greater reduction in price.

           Settling of damages is limited to sales within Germany.

           The notification period is ten days as from the transfer of risk.

5.10.    Differences in the weight of productive livestock

           Differences in the weight of productive livestock over and beyond the agreed condition must be reported before the transfer of risk. The Buyer is entitled to a compensatory payment for the weight difference in excess of 5%, multiplied by the respective price per kg at the auction location at the time of auction.

5.11.    Pregnancy of livestock for fattening

            The Seller guarantees that livestock for fattening are not pregnant at the transfer of risk. If female animals have been pregnant, this must be proved by means of a veterinary certificate immediately after becoming known. In such a case, the Buyer has the right to nullify the purchase and is entitled to a feed allowance currently amounting to € 1.50 per day.

5.12.    Unfitness for human consumption

           If beef cattle are totally or partially unfit for human consumption, the Buyer has the right to reduce the price. The price reduction and any additional costs incurred by the Buyer in this regard shall be assed on the Principal. Liability for damage is limited to the individual animal concerned.


6. Burden of proof, regulation of defects, limitation period

6.1.     Burden of proof

           The Buyer bears the burden of proof for all claim prerequisites, in particular for the existence of a deviation from the agreement on condition, the point in time at which a defect arose, and for timely submission of the notification of defects.

6.2.     No liability if the defect was known

           If the Buyer knew or should have known of the defect, or if ill health has been indicated in a veterinary certificate, or the Buyer has otherwise been informed of a deviation from the agreed condition prior to concluding the purchase contract, it is precluded from asserting any claims for material defects.

6.3.     Price reduction, nullification and withdrawal

a)   If the Buyer has the right to claim a reduction in price, the Seller shall reimburse the difference between the market value without the defect complained of and the current market value with the defect or, in the case of veterinary treatment to restore the animal to its marketable condition, shall reimburse the costs of such veterinary treatment.

b)      If the contract is nullified, the Buyer is entitled to reimbursement of the final purchase price by the Seller, concurrently with the return of the animal or animals.

c)      If the Seller is responsible for withdrawal from the contract and the other legal requirements for claims to damages are met, any compensation payments shall be limited to the reimbursement of transport costs, feed costs and the costs for the first veterinary examination, plus the total customary commission fee payable to the Commission Agent.

d)   Neither the Seller nor the Commission Agent shall bear liability for further claims, in particular for any pecuniary losses, unless the Seller or Principal has caused damage resulting from a wilful or grossly negligent breach of duty.

6.4.     Statute-barring

           All claims arising from liability for material defects shall be barred by limitation six months after conclusion of the purchase contract. If a longer warranty period has been agreed, the limitation period shall be six months as from the end of the warranty period.



7. Severability clause

Should any provisions of these Terms be or become invalid, this shall have no effect on the validity of the remaining provisions. The invalid provision shall be replaced by one that comes closest to the intended purpose of the contract.

You will find our General Terms and Conditions for Semen, Agricultural Products and Insemination Services on our main german website.

You will find our General Terms and Conditions for embryo trading on our main german website.

You will find our General Terms and Conditions for the auction of cattle and embryos in commercial transactions on our main german website.