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Animals Act 1971

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6Interpretation of certain expressions used in sections 2 to 5

(1)The following provisions apply to the interpretation of sections 2 to 5 of this Act.

(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) of this section, 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 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 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.

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