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Case Name Citation Summary
Bandeira and Brannigan v. RSPCA   CO 2066/99   Where a person has sent a dog into the earth of a fox or sett of a badger with the result that a confrontation took place between the dog and a wild animal, and the dog experienced suffering, it will be open to the tribunal of fact to find that the dog has been caused unnecessary suffering and that an offence has been committed under section 1(1)(a) of the Protection of Animals Act 1911.  
Barnard v. Evans   [1925] 2 KB 794   The expression "cruelly ill-treat"" in s 1(1)(a) of the Protection of Animals Act 1911 means to "cause unnecessary suffering" and "applies to a case where a person wilfully causes pain to an animal without justification for so doing". It is sufficient for the prosecution to prove that the animal was caused to suffer unnecessarily, and the prosecution does not have to prove that the defendant knew that his actions were unnecessary.  
Barrington v. Colbert   CO/1273/97   A net was placed over one opening of a land drain and a terrier dog sent into the other entrance with the objective of prompting a fox to run into the net. Magistrates acquitted the defendants of doing an act causing unnecessary suffering to the fox contrary to the Protection of Animals Act 1911, s 1(1)(a). The Divisional Court dismissed the prosecutor's appeal, holding that, applying Rowley v Murphy [1964] 2 QB 43, the fox was not a "captive animal" within the meaning of s 15(c) of the 1911 Act, mere confinement not being sufficient, and was therefore outside the protection of that Act.  
Chalmers v. Diwell   74 LGR 173   Defendant was an exporter of pet birds. He kept birds at a premises in the course of his business. Usually the birds remained on the premises for less than 48 hours before continuing their journey to their purchasers but on occasion birds had remained on the premises for up to 12 days. A magistrates' court acquitted him of keeping a pet shop without a licence (contrary to Pet Animals Act 1951, s.1). Prosecutor appealed. Result: appeal allowed. Held: even though the premises was being used as no more than a holding center, the defendant was carrying on from that premises a business of selling pets and the premises therefore required a pet shop license.  
Ford v. Wiley   23 QBD 203   A farmer who had caused the horns of his cattle to be sawn off, a procedure which had caused great pain, was liable to conviction for cruelty. For an operation causing pain to be justifiable, it had to be carried out in pursuit of a legitimate aim that could not reasonably be attained through less painful means, and the pain inflicted had to be proportionate to the objective sought. The mere fact that the defendant believed that the procedure was necessary did not remove him from liability to conviction if, judged according to the circumstances that he believed to exist, his actions were not objectively justifiable.  
Hopson v. DPP   [1997] C.O.D. 229   The owner of a bird of prey had kept it in a wire aviary for at least six weeks, during which it had injured itself by repeatedly flying into the wire mesh. Having been convicted on these facts of an offence of cruelly ill-treating the bird contrary to the first limb of s 1(1)(a) of the Protection of Animals Act 1911, he appealed, contending that under that limb, unlike the second limb, he should only have been convicted if he was guilty of a positive act of deliberate cruelty. Dismissing the appeal, the Divisional Court held that a person could be guilty of cruel ill-treatment of an animal he was responsible for by allowing it to remain in a situation where it was continuing to injure itself, even if he did not desire to bring about the harm.  
Isted v. CPS   (1998) 162 J.P. 513   The appellant was a keeper of livestock who had shot and injured a neighbor's dog that had strayed into the appellant's pig pen. He had been convicted of doing an act causing unnecessary suffering to the dog contrary to the Protection of Animals Act 1911, s 1(1)(a) (second limb). Dismissing the appeal, the Divisional Court held that the local justices were entitled to find as a matter of fact that it had not been reasonably necessary to shoot the dog.  
Johnson v. Needham   [1909] 1 KB 626  

The Court upheld a decision of local justices to dismiss an information that the defendant "did cruelly ill-treat, abuse, and torture a certain animal" contrary to the Cruelty to Animals Act 1849, s. 2 (1). The Act made it an offence to ill-treat, abuse, or torture an animal, and thereby established three separate offences from which the prosecutor should have elected. Note: Although the 1949 Act has been repealed, similar language appears in the Protection of Animals Act 1911, s 1(1)(a), and presumably the same reasoning applies to that statutory provision.

 
McQuaker v. Goddard   [1940] 1 KB 687   A camel is not to be regarded as a wild animal by the common law as a camel 'is, in all countries, a domestic animal, an animal that has become trained to the uses of man, and a fortiori accustomed to association with man.' Whether an animal is to be regarded as wild or domestic is a question of law, and is to be judged according to the genus or class of which it belongs, not the characteristics of the individual animal.  
Nye v. Niblett   [1918] 1 KB 23   Three boys who had killed two farm cats were charged with an offence which could only have been committed if the cats were kept for a "domestic purpose". Local justices had acquitted the boys, in part because there no evidence was before them that the cats that were killed had been kept for a domestic purpose. Allowing the prosecutor's appeal, the Divisional Court held that there was no need to prove that a particular animal was in fact kept for a domestic purpose if it belonged to a class of animals which were ordinarily so kept.  
R. (on the application of Petsafe Ltd) v Welsh Ministers   2010 WL 4503327   Pet product manufacturer challenged a Welsh ban on the use of electric collars on cats and dogs  under the Animal Welfare Regulations 2010. The High Court held that the Regulations were not beyond the powers of the Welsh Ministers, and that the ban was not irrational, unreasonable or perverse. The High Court also held that any restriction on the free movement of goods under Article 34 of the EU Treaty was proportional and necessary, due to the fact that it was not targeted at trade, but rather meant to further social policy promoting animal welfare. Similarly, any interference with Article 1 of the First Protocol of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) was also justifiable.  
R. v. Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council, ex parte Tesco Stores Ltd.   CO/467/93  

Although a local authority may not adopt a policy of not enforcing certain laws or not enforcing them against certain types of parties, it may nevertheless make rational choices with respect to the use of its enforcement powers in order to deploy its limited resources in the most efficient and effective manner.

 
R. v. Senior   [1899] 1 QB 283  

Held: The word "wilfully", when used in the context of an offence prohibiting cruelty to children, "means that the act is done deliberately and intentionally, not by accident or inadvertence, but so that the mind of the person who does the act goes with it" (per Lord Russell of Killowen C.J.). Note: the word "wilfully" is occasionally an element of animal welfare offences, such as that of wilfully, without any reasonable cause or excuse, administering a poisonous drug or substance to an animal (Protection of Animals Act 1911, s 1(1)(d)).

 
Rapa Ltd. v. Trafford Borough Council     Section 2 of the Pet Animals Act 1951 states that a person shall be guilty of an offence if he "carries on a business of selling animals as pets in any part of a street or public place, [or] at a stall or barrow in a market". Small transparent cubes containing water and live fish were sold as novelty items, known as 'aquababies', from a barrow in a thoroughfare of a large indoor shopping mall. The Court found that this activity involved the carrying on of a business of selling pets in a "public place" and was therefore prohibited by section 2.  
Rogers v. Teignbridge District Council     A planned event called "The Creepy Crawly Show" was to have been held at a racecourse and to have involved the display and sale of small exotic animals by a number of different breeders, dealers and enthusiasts. The event's organizer applied to the local council for a pet shop licence under the Pet Animals Act 1951. The application was refused on the ground that the event was prohibited by section 2 of the Act which states that a person is guilty of an offence if he "carries on a business of selling animals as pets in any part of a street or public place, [or] at a stall or barrow in a market". The organizer's appeal to the local magistrates court was dismissed. Held: the holding of the event would have involved the carrying on a business of selling pets in a "public place". It would also have involved the selling of animals in a market. The event was therefore prohibited by section 2 and that it would have been unlawful for the local authority to have licensed it.  
Rowley v. Murphy   [1964] 2 QB 43   A deer being hunted with a pack of hounds jumped onto a road and fell under a stationery vehicle. Members of the hunt dragged the deer from under the vehicle to a nearby enclosure, where the Master of the hunt slit the deer's throat and killed it. The Divisional Court held that the Master could not be convicted of an offence of cruelty under the 1911 Act because, for the purposes of that Act, which protects only captive and domestic animals, a mere temporary inability to escape did not amount to a state of captivity.  
Taylor v. RSPCA   [2001] EWHC Admin 103   Two women, who had been disqualified from keeping horses by a court, transferred ownership of the horses to their niece, but had continued to make arrangements for the accommodation of the horses and to provide food and water for them. The women were convicted in the Magistrates' Court of the offence of "having custody" of the horses in breach of the disqualification order, and appealed. Dismissing the appeal, the Divisional Court held that, what amounted to "custody" was primarily a matter of fact for the lower court to decide, and that the local justices had been entitled to conclude that, notwithstanding the transfer of ownership, the two women had continued to be in control, or have the power to control, the horses.  
Ward v RSPCA   [2010] EWHC 347 (Admin)   This appeal concerns the conviction of Anthony Ward for two offences of causing unnecessary suffering to two ponies contrary to Section 4(1)(a) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Under Section 34 of the Act, Ward was disqualified from owning and keeping, or participating in keeping, or being a party to an arrangement under which animals are kept for a period of 10 years. This appeal concerns the disqualification. In upholding the disqualification, the court felt that it was justified where defendant had two previous convictions and the last disqualification expired only three years before this offence.  
Waters v. Meakin   [1916] 2 KB 111   The respondent had been acquitted of causing unnecessary suffering to rabbits (contrary to the Protection of Animals Act 1911, s. 1(1)) by releasing them into a fenced enclosure from which they had no reasonable chance of escape, before setting dogs after them. Dismissing the prosecutor's appeal, the Divisional Court held that the respondent's conduct fell within the exception provided for "hunting or coursing" by sub-s. (3) (b) of s. 1of the 1911 Act. From the moment that the captive animal is liberated to be hunted or coursed, it falls outwith the protection of the 1911 Act, irrespective of whether the hunting or coursing is humane or sportsmanlike.