Dog ownership and the Animals Act 1971
Lockdown has fuelled the demand for pets, especially dogs, with many families taking on the responsibility of a four legged friend.
Dogs demand responsibility, training, can be energetic and boisterous and with limited access to dog behavioural centres owners and keepers will need to step up to keep Fido under control.
Many first time owners will not have the skill to manage a dog which can become aggressive if not properly trained. We have all watched Dogs behaving very badly and admired Graeme Hall, known as the ‘Dogfather’ as he exercises his skill in bringing calm to out of control dogs.
Responsible owners will have pet insurance for their own protection. Insurance is helpful for many reasons including vet bills but have you thought what would happen if your dog causes injury or damage? The Animals Act 1971 sets out the civil liability for damage done by animals in England and Wales and a breach of the Act gives rise to strict liability on the part of the animal keeper (i.e. they will be liable to compensate the injured Claimant without any proof of negligence).If a claim is brought for compensation for injury or damage dog owners would be wise to have insurance that will meet this cost.
The Animals Act 1971 requires expert interpretation and application to the particular event for negligence to be established. Don’t assume that if an animal has caused injury that the keeper is automatically liable under the Act.
Posted on Jan 4th, 2021 by Anthony Heywood