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Animals (Northern Ireland) Order 1976

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N.I.

Statutory Instruments

1976 No. 1040 (N.I. 13)

Animals (Northern Ireland) Order 1976

[2nd July 1976]

Title and commencementN.I.

1.  This Order may be cited as the Animals (Northern Ireland) Order 1976 … Commencement

InterpretationN.I.

2.—(1) The Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954 [1954 c.33] shall apply to Article 1 and the following provisions of this Order as it applies to a Measure of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

(2) For the purposes of this Order—

(a)a dangerous species of animal is a species—

(i)which is not commonly domesticated in the British Islands; and

(ii)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;

(b)subject to sub-paragraph (c), a person is a keeper of an animal if—

(i)he owns the animal or has it in his possession; or

(ii)he is the head of a household of which a member under the age of sixteen 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 sub-paragraph continues to be a keeper of the animal until another person becomes a keeper thereof by virtue of those provisions;

(c)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.

(3) In this Order—

“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 (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (Northern Ireland) 1948 [1948 c.23] ;

“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 and, in Article 8 also, while in captivity, pheasants, partridges, grouse and quails;

“nearest police station” means the police station nearest to the place where the animal was found;

“occupier” in relation to land, includes any person who, by virtue of any agreement, has a right to the exclusive use of the land for cropping or grazing;

“police force” has the same meaning as in section 35 of the Police Act (Northern Ireland) 1970 [1970 c.9] ;

“poultry” means the domestic varieties of the following, that is to say, fowls, turkeys, geese, ducks, guinea-fowls, pigeons and peacocks;

“premises” includes land;

“public road” includes any highway;

“species” includes sub-species and variety;

“structure” means any fixed or movable structure and includes any vessel, vehicle or aircraft.

New provisions as to strict liability for damage done by animalsN.I.

3.  The provisions of Articles 4 to 6 and Article 8 replace—

(a)the rules of 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)the rules of common law imposing a liability for cattle trespass; and

(c)section 1(1) to (3) of the Dogs Act 1906 [1906 c.32] .

Liability for damage done by dangerous animalsN.I.

4.—(1) Subject to Article 6, 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.

(2) Subject to Article 6, 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 if—

(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 sixteen years.

Liability for damage and expenses due to straying livestockN.I.

5.—(1) Subject to Article 6, where livestock belonging to any person strays onto 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 in pursuance of Article 9, or in ascertaining to whom it belongs;

the person to whom the livestock belongs is liable for the damage or expenses.

(2) For the purposes of this Article any livestock belongs to the person in whose possession it is.

Exceptions from liability under Articles 4 and 5N.I.

6.—(1) A person is not liable under Article 4 or 5 for any damage which is due wholly to the fault of the person suffering it.

(2) A person is not liable under Article 4 for any damage suffered by a person who has voluntarily accepted the risk thereof; so however that 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 incurring it voluntarily.

(3) A person is not liable under Article 4 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

(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) A person is not liable under Article 5 where the livestock strayed from a public road and its presence there was a lawful use of the public road.

(5) In determining whether any liability for damage under Article 5 is excluded by paragraph (1) of this Article 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 Article where it is proved that the straying of the livestock onto the land would not have occurred but for a breach by any other person, being a person having an estate in the land, of a duty to fence.

Duty to take care to prevent damage from animals straying onto the public roadN.I.

7.—(1) So much of the rules of the common law relating to liability for negligence as excludes or restricts the duty which a person might owe to others to take such care as is reasonable to see that damage is not caused by animals straying onto a public road is hereby abolished.

(2) Where damage is caused by animals straying from unfenced land onto a public road 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.

Liability for injury by dogs to livestockN.I.

8.—(1) Where a dog causes damage by[F1 worrying]F1 livestock, any person who is a keeper of the dog is liable for the damage.

(2) Where the amount of damage under this Article does not exceed[F1 £100]F1 it shall be recoverable summarily as a civil debt under[F2 Article 62 of the Magistrates' Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981]F2.

(3) A person is not liable under this Article, if the livestock was[F1 worried]F1 on land onto which it had strayed and either the dog belonged to the occupier or its presence on the land was authorised by the occupier, unless the person caused the dog to[F1 worry]F1 the livestock.

[F1(4) In this Article “worrying livestock” means—

(a)attacking or killing livestock; or

(b)chasing livestock in such a way as may reasonably be expected to cause the death of, or injury or suffering to, the livestock or to result in financial loss to the owner of the livestock.F1]

Annotations: Help about Annotation
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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

F11983 NI 8

F21981 NI 26

Detention and sale of straying livestockN.I.

9.—(1) Where any livestock strays onto any land and is not then under the control of any person the occupier of the land may detain it, subject to paragraph (2), unless ordered to return it by a court.

(2) Where any livestock is detained in pursuance of this Article the right to detain it ceases—

(a)at the end of a period of forty-eight hours, unless within that period notice of the detention has been given to the officer in charge of the nearest police station and also, if the person detaining the livestock knows to whom it belongs, to that person; or

(b)when such amount is tendered by or on behalf of a person entitled to possession of the livestock to the person detaining the livestock as is sufficient to satisfy any claim he may have under Article 5 in respect of the livestock; or

(c)if he has no such claim, when the livestock is claimed by a person entitled to its possession.

(3) Where livestock has been detained in pursuance of this Article for a period of not less than fourteen days the person detaining it may sell it at a market or by public auction, unless proceedings are then pending for the return of the livestock or for any claim under Article 5 in respect of it.

(4) Where any livestock is sold in the exercise of the right conferred by this Article and the proceeds of the sale, less the costs thereof and any costs incurred in connection with it, exceed the amount of any claim under Article 5 which the vendor had in respect of the livestock, the excess shall be recoverable from him by the person who would be entitled to the possession of the livestock but for the sale.

(5) A person detaining any livestock in pursuance of this Article is liable for any damage caused to it by a failure to treat it with reasonable care and supply it with adequate food and water while it is so detained.

(6) References in this Article to a claim under Article 5 in respect of any livestock do not include any claim under that Article for damage done by or expenses incurred in respect of the livestock before the straying in connection with which it is detained under this Article.

Animals wandering onto the public roadN.I.

10.—(1) Where an animal is found wandering on any public road, and its owner is not known, any member of the police force may impound it with some suitable person and agree to pay him such an amount as is reasonable in the circumstances for keeping and feeding the animal.

(2) When an animal is impounded under paragraph (1) a notice describing the animal and stating where it was found shall forthwith be posted, and shall be kept posted for fourteen days, in a conspicuous position outside the nearest police station.

(3) Subject to paragraph (4), if the owner of the animal has not been ascertained within fourteen days after it has been impounded an officer of the police force may cause it to be sold at a market or by public auction.

(4) The officer shall keep posted outside the police station and outside the premises where the animal is to be sold, for at least forty-eight hours before the time of the sale, a notice stating the time of the sale and describing the animal and where it was found.

(5) The officer shall pay out of the proceeds of the sale—

(a)to the person who kept the animal, the amount agreed upon for keeping and feeding it; and

(b)the expenses (if any) of the sale.

(6) If the owner of the animal is ascertained within six months from the date of the sale the balance of the proceeds of the sale shall be paid to him; otherwise the balance of the proceeds of the sale shall be applied in the same manner as is provided for with respect to fines by section 20 of the Administration of Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 1954 [1954 c.9] , and the owner shall have no claim in respect of it.

(7) If the owner of the animal is ascertained before the sale, he shall be entitled to receive the animal on paying to the officer the amount agreed upon for keeping and feeding it and any expenses which may have been incurred with a view to selling the animal, but if the owner refuses or fails to pay the amount or expenses, the animal shall be sold in accordance with this Article.

(8) So much of the amount agreed upon for keeping and feeding the animal and the expenses (if any) of the sale, as exceeds the proceeds of the sale shall be defrayed as expenses of the Police Authority for Northern Ireland.

(9) In this Article—

“officer”[F3 means a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary holding the rank of inspector or a higher rank]F3.

Annotations: Help about Annotation
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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Penalty for rescuing livestock detained or animals impounded under Article 9 or 10N.I.

11.  Any person who—

(a)rescues or does any act by means of which livestock detained under Article 9 or an animal impounded under Article 10 escapes or is unlawfully liberated; or

(b)unlawfully prevents a person entitled by virtue of Article 9 or 10 to custody or control of the livestock or animal from exercising in relation to it any right conferred by that Article;

shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding[F4 level 2 on the standard scale]F4.

Annotations: Help about Annotation
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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

F41984 NI 3

Application of certain enactments to liability under Articles 4, 5 and 8N.I.

12.  For the purposes of [F5 the Fatal Accidents (Northern Ireland) Order 1977 [1977 NI 18] ], the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (Northern Ireland) 1948 [1948 c.23] and[F6 the Limitation Acts (Northern Ireland) Order 1989]F6, any damage for which a person is liable under Articles 4, 5 and 8 shall be treated as due to his default.

Annotations: Help about Annotation
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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

F51977 NI 18

F61989 NI 11

Application to CrownN.I.

13.  This Order binds the Crown to the full extent authorised or permitted by the constitutional laws of Northern Ireland.

Art. 14, with Schedule, effects repeals

N.I.

Schedule — Repeals

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