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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70526
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am being prosecuted because my dog, a Labrador, nipped a

Customer Question

I am being prosecuted because my dog, a Labrador, nipped a young woman runner on the back of her thigh who kicked the dog deliberately when it ran up to her.

Upon reading s3(4) of the Dangerous Dogs Act, it would appear that I have no option but to plead guilty.

However, the section refers to a dog being "dangerously out of control". The dog was running freely - not on a lead - and merely retaliated to the kick - which, in itself, is apparently illegal under s1(1)(a) of the Protection of Animals Act 1911.

My wife, can and will, give evidence that the young woman has kicked out at my dog before, although she probably has not previously made contact with it.

May I have your advice please.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

What would you like to know about this?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Do you think it worthwhile for me to plead "not guilty" upon the basis that my dig nipped the young woman purely because she kicked it. Apparently a crime in itself?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No, I'm sorry its not for two reasons really.

The first is that there is no defence in saying that somebody else committed a different crime. When its expressed like that you can probably see the difficulty. Its like arguing you aren ot guilty of murder because the victim committed a theft to take an extreme example.

The second is that she will saying that she kicked your dog because the dog was already being aggressive and there is provision in the Animal Welfare at S4[3] her

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/45/section/4

for a legitimate purpose. Kicking a dog that was being aggressive is probably not the best dog handling but it is not likely to be considered illegitimate.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Jo
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Your example is surely not appropriate. I can produce evidence that my dog has never been aggressive and that the woman has kicked out at my dog on previous occasions. Surely a better analogy would be one of self defence. If you were kicked by another woman, would you not be entitled to defend yourself by the only way you know how, even if such defence, without provocation would amount to an assault?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No it is appropriate.

There is no defence under the dangerous dogs act of self defence.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So, let us take a more extreme example. Assume the woman had grabbed hold of the dog, and hit and kicked it repeatedly. Would not this provocation "entitle" the dog to react?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I'm just having a few connection issues at the moment. Please bear with me and I will respond as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Sorry for the delay.

No, it would not entitle the dog to act.

There is no defence under the DDA 1991 of self defence.