Escaped animals: Animals on the run

09 May 2018

ANIMALS, understandably, have no respect for property or premises’ and when they escape from their boundaries, there are certainly no boundaries when it comes to their eventual destination.

As owners or managers of livestock, you must be aware of the consequences you face if animals escape.

Just as important is the need to receive good legal advice with regards to where you stand, especially if a civil action is taken against you – as has been the case in some well-reported and serious incidents of dogs and people being trampled by cattle.

The problems for any stockholder can start with the initial escape of animals. There is a real onus here to ensure all steps are taken to prevent livestock running loose in the first place. Boundaries must be checked and kept secure, with gates shut and clear warnings where there is public access.

Such is the law that, if animals do find themselves on a person’s private land, in addition to claiming for damage caused to property or premises’, you could also receive a bill for a person’s services and time in looking after the animals.

There may also be redress if animals known to be unpredictable or liable to causing damage are put on land which is near the public or has regular access by members of the public.

In fact, in civil cases strict liability does lie with you in such incidents. For example, putting calves and cows in such an unrestricted area with no thought as to the consequences, would see you in trouble if an incident occurred. However, with proper consideration for animal’s likely behaviour, risk can be sensibly minimised.

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