Animals Act 1981

Link to law: https://legislation.gov.im/cms/images/LEGISLATION/PRINCIPAL/1981/1981-0015/AnimalsAct1981_1.pdf
Published: 2012-09-01

Subscribe to a Global-Regulation Premium Membership Today!

Key Benefits:

Subscribe Now
Animals Act 1981

c i e
AT 15 of 1981

ANIMALS ACT 1981

Animals Act 1981 Index


c AT 15 of 1981 Page 3

c i e
ANIMALS ACT 1981

Index Section Page

1 New provisions as to strict liability for damage done by animals .......................... 5
2 Liability for damage done by dangerous animals ..................................................... 5
3 [Repealed] ........................................................................................................................ 6
4 Liability for damage and expenses due to trespassing livestock ............................. 6
5 Exceptions from liability under sections 2 to 4 ........................................................... 6
6 Interpretation of certain expressions used in sections 2 to 5 .................................... 7
7 Duty to take care to prevent damage from animals straying on to the
highway ............................................................................................................................ 8
8 [Repealed] ........................................................................................................................ 8
9 Application of certain enactments to liability under sections 2 to 4........................ 8
10 General interpretation .................................................................................................... 8
11 Amendments ................................................................................................................... 9
12 [Repealed] ........................................................................................................................ 9
13 Short title and commencement ..................................................................................... 9
SCHEDULE 1 11

AMENDMENT OF CERTAIN ENACTMENTS 11
SCHEDULE 2 11

ENDNOTES 13

TABLE OF LEGISLATION HISTORY 13
TABLE OF RENUMBERED PROVISIONS 13
TABLE OF ENDNOTE REFERENCES 13

Animals Act 1981 Section 1


c AT 15 of 1981 Page 5

c i e
ANIMALS ACT 1981

Received Royal Assent: 31 July 1981
Passed: 13 October 1981
Commenced: 13 November 19811

AN ACT
to make provision with respect to civil liability for damage done by
animals and with respect to the protection of livestock from dogs; and for
purposes connected therewith.
Strict liability for damage done by animals
1 New provisions as to strict liability for damage done by animals

[P1971/22/1]
(1) The provisions of sections 2 to 5 replace —
(a) the rules of the common law imposing a strict liability in tort for
damage done by an animal on the ground that the animal is
regarded as ferae naturae or that its vicious or mischievous
propensities are known or presumed to be known;
(b) section 5 of the Dogs Act 1908, in so far as it relates to injury to
cattle; and
(c) the rules of the common law imposing a liability for cattle
trespass.
(2) Expressions used in those sections shall be interpreted in accordance
with the provisions of section 6 (as well as those of section 10).
2 Liability for damage done by dangerous animals

[P1971/22/2]
(1) Where any damage is caused by an animal which belongs to a dangerous
species, any person who is a keeper of the animal is liable for the
damage, except as otherwise provided by this Act.
(2) Where damage is caused by an animal which does not belong to a
dangerous species, a keeper of the animal is liable for the damage, except
as otherwise provided by this Act, if —
Section 3 Animals Act 1981


Page 6 AT 15 of 1981 c

(a) the damage is of a kind which the animal, unless restrained, was
likely to cause or which, if caused by the animal, was likely to be
severe; and
(b) the likelihood of the damage or of its being severe was due to
characteristics of the animal which are not normally found in
animals of the same species or are not normally so found except at
particular times or in particular circumstances; and
(c) those characteristics were known to that keeper or were at any
time known to a person who at that time had charge of the animal
as that keeper’s servant or, where that keeper is the head of a
household, were known to another keeper of the animal who is a
member of that household and under the age of 16.
3 [Repealed]
2

4 Liability for damage and expenses due to trespassing livestock

[P1971/22/4]
(1) Where livestock belonging to any person strays on to land in the
ownership or occupation of another and —
(a) damage is done by the livestock to the land or to any property on
it which is in the ownership or possession of the other person; or
(b) any expenses are reasonably incurred by that other person in
keeping the livestock while it cannot be restored to the person to
whom it belongs or while it is detained, or in ascertaining to
whom it belongs,
the person to whom the livestock belongs is liable for the damage or
expenses, except as otherwise provided by this Act.
(2) For the purpose of this section, any livestock belongs to the person in
whose possession it is.
5 Exceptions from liability under sections 2 to 4

[P1971/22/5]
(1) A person is not liable under sections 2 to 4 for any damage which is due
wholly to the fault of the person suffering it.
(2) A person is not liable under section 2 for any damage suffered by a
person who has voluntarily accepted the risk thereof.
(3) A person is not liable under section 2 for any damage caused by an
animal kept on any premises or structure to a person trespassing there, if
it is proved either —
(a) that the animal was not kept there for the protection of persons or
property; or
Animals Act 1981 Section 6


c AT 15 of 1981 Page 7

(b) (if the animal was kept there for the protection of persons or
property) that keeping it there for that purpose was not
unreasonable.
(4) [Repealed]3

(5) A person is not liable under section 4 where the livestock strayed from a
highway and its presence there was a lawful use of the highway.
(6) In determining whether any liability for damage under section 4 is
excluded by subsection (1), the damage shall not be treated as due to the
fault of the person suffering it by reason only that he could have
prevented it by fencing; but a person is not liable under that section
where it is proved that the straying of the livestock on to the land would
not have occurred but for a breach by any other person, being a person
having an interest in the land, of a duty to fence.
6 Interpretation of certain expressions used in sections 2 to 5

[P1971/22/6]
(1) The following provisions apply to the interpretation of sections 2 to 5.
(2) A dangerous species is a species —
(a) which is not commonly domesticated in the British Islands; and
(b) whose fully grown animals normally have such characteristics
that they are likely, unless restrained, to cause severe damage or
that any damage they may cause is likely to be severe.
(3) Subject to subsection (4), a person is a keeper of an animal if —
(a) he owns the animal or has it in his possession; or
(b) he is the head of a household of which a member under the age of
16 owns the animal or has it in his possession;
and if at any time an animal ceases to be owned by or to be in the
possession of a person, any person who immediately before that time
was a keeper thereof by virtue of the preceding provisions of this
subsection continues to be a keeper of the animal until another person
becomes a keeper thereof by virtue of those provisions.
(4) Where an animal is taken into and kept in possession for the purpose of
preventing it from causing damage or of restoring it to its owner, a
person is not a keeper of it by virtue only of that possession.
(5) Where a person employed as a servant by a keeper of an animal incurs a
risk incidental to his employment, he shall not be treated as accepting it
voluntarily.
Section 7 Animals Act 1981


Page 8 AT 15 of 1981 c

Animals straying on to highway
7 Duty to take care to prevent damage from animals straying on to the

highway

[P1971/22/8]
(1) [Repealed]4

(2) Where damage is caused by animals straying from unfenced land to a
highway, a person who placed them on the land shall not be regarded as
having committed a breach of the duty to take care by reason only of
placing them there if —
(a) the land is situated in an area where fencing is not customary; and
(b) he had a right to place the animals on that land.
8 [Repealed]
5

Supplemental
9 Application of certain enactments to liability under sections 2 to 4

[P1971/22/10]
For the purposes of the Fatal Accidents Act 1981 the Law Reform (Contributory
Negligence) Act 1946 and the Limitation Act 1984, any damage for which a person
is liable under sections 2 to 4 shall be treated as due to his fault.6

10 General interpretation

[P1971/22/11]
In this Act —
“damage
” includes the death of, or injury to, any person (including any disease
and any impairment of physical or mental condition);
“fault
” has the same meaning as in the Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act
1946;
“fencing
” includes the construction of any obstacle designed to prevent animals
from straying;
“livestock
” means cattle, horses, asses, mules, hinnies, sheep, pigs, goats and
poultry, and also deer not in the wild state;7

“poulty
” means the domestic varieties of the following, that is to say, fowls,
turkeys, geese, ducks, guinea-fowls, pigeons, peacocks and quails; and
“species
” includes sub-species and variety.
Animals Act 1981 Section 11


c AT 15 of 1981 Page 9

11 Amendments

The enactments specified in Schedule 1 shall be amended in accordance with
that Schedule.
12 [Repealed]
8

13 Short title and commencement

(1) This Act may be cited as the Animals Act 1981.
(2) This Act shall come into operation one month after it has been passed.
Animals Act 1981 Schedule 1



c AT 15 of 1981 Page 11

SCHEDULE 1

AMENDMENT OF CERTAIN ENACTMENTS

Section 11
[Sch 1 amended by Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2000 s 3, and
amends the following Act —
Fees, Charges Etc. Enabling Act 1972 q.v.]
SCHEDULE 2
9

Animals Act 1981 Endnotes


c AT 15 of 1981 Page 13

ENDNOTES

Table of Legislation History

Legislation Year and No Commencement






Table of Renumbered Provisions

Original Current






Table of Endnote References

1
See section 13(2). 2
S 3 repealed by Dogs Act 1990 Sch 4. 3
Subs (4) repealed by Dogs Act 1990 Sch 4. 4
Subs (1) repealed by Statute Law Revision Act 1997 Sch 2. 5
S 8 repealed by Dogs Act 1990 Sch 4. 6
S 9 amended by Limitation Act 1984 Sch 3. 7
Definition of ‘livestock’ amended by Dogs Act 1990 Sch 4. 8
S 12 repealed by Statute Law Revision Act 1992 Sch 2. 9
Sch 2 repealed by Statute Law Revision Act 1992 Sch 2.