Tue | Sep 28, 2021

9 things to know about new dog-attack law

Published:Thursday | November 19, 2020 | 12:14 AM
Jamaica’s new dog-bite law will hold owners criminally responsible for attacks.
Jamaica’s new dog-bite law will hold owners criminally responsible for attacks.

The House of Representatives passed the Dogs (Liability for Attacks) Bill on Tuesday with 17 amendments. Here are a few key provisions:

• In Section 2 of the legislation, ‘attack’ means any circumstance that results in injury.

• And ‘injury’ means (a) injury to an individual, and includes death, disease, or any impairment of an individual’s physical or mental condition.

• Section 5 also includes injury to an animal.

• Section 3 (1): “The occupier of any premises where a dog is kept, or permitted to live or remain, shall be presumed to be the owner of the dog.”

• Section 3 (2):” ... Where there is more than one occupier of the premises concerned, being premises let in separate apartments or lodgings, the occupier of that particular part of the premises at which the dog was kept, or permitted to live or remain at the time in question, shall be presumed to be the owner of the dog.”

• Section 3 (3): Nothing in this section precludes more than one person being presumed to be the owner of a dog and being held liable for injury caused by the dog accordingly.

• Section 4 (1): The owner of a dog has a duty to ensure that, at all times while the dog is in a public place:

(a) the dog is kept under control;

(b) the dog is fitted with a muzzle that prevents the dog from biting any individual.

• Section 5 (1): “The owner of a dog shall be liable in damages for injury done by the dog in any place, other than the premises (or part thereof) referred to in Section 3 where the dog is kept, or permitted to live or remain … .”

• Section 6: “Where a dog attacks an individual in any place other than the premises (or part thereof) referred to in Section 3, where the dog is kept or permitted to live or remain, the owner of the dog commits an offence.”

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