The Animals Act 1971
The Animals Act 1971 covers owners’ liability for damage done by their animals, and places strict liability on the owners of animals that cause damage in certain circumstances. Since the Act was introduced, and particularly since the House of Lords’ decision in Mirvahedy v Henley , there has been uncertainty about precisely what those circumstances are. Defra accepts that the meaning of Section 2(2)(b) of the Act is unclear, and supported a Private Member’s Bill tabled by Stephen Crabb MP to amend it.
Stephen Crabb’s Bill can be found at:
and the detailed Explanatory Notes supporting it can be found at:
The Bill had its second reading in the House of Commons on 14 March 2008 but, despite winning the vote 26:1, insufficient members were present for the vote to count. The Government remains keen to see the Act amended, and is looking into options for taking this matter forward.
Page last modified:
12 May, 2008
Page published: 2 October 2006