Q&As

Is there any case law or legislation to show that a conviction under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 is likely to be conclusive evidence of negligence in a dog attack claim?

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Produced in partnership with Jamie Gamble of No5 Barristers Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 15/03/2018

The following PI & Clinical Negligence Q&A produced in partnership with Jamie Gamble of No5 Barristers Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Is there any case law or legislation to show that a conviction under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 is likely to be conclusive evidence of negligence in a dog attack claim?

Is there any case law or legislation to show that a conviction under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 is likely to be conclusive evidence of negligence in a dog attack claim?

The starting point for considering a claim for personal injury arising out of a dog attack is the Animals Act 1971 (AA 1971).

AA 1971, s 2(2) provides that a keeper of a non-dangerous animal (which, for the purposes of AA 1971, is what a domestic dog would be) is strictly liable for damage caused by it if:

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

These rather opaque requirements for establishing liability have

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