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tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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I have a question that no one else seems to be able to answer. In

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I have a question that no one else seems to be able to answer.

In February this year, our 7 month old kitten drowned in a neighbour's pond due to the fact that the pond was only half full with straight sides and our kitten had no chance of climbing out. The neighbour already knew that the pond was dangerous because they said that they had saved another cat from drowning. We asked if they could amend their pond to make it safe but unfortunately, less than 3 months later, our other kitten also drowned in the pond. The neighbours had done nothing and told us that a further 3 cats had now been saved, making a total of 5 cats that couldn't climb out of the pond.

I believe that because the neighbour was aware of the fact that their pond was dangerous and did nothing to make it safe, they should be held liable for the death, at the very least of our 2nd cat who died.

I know that it's their property, but surely you cannot be allowed to knowingly cause unnnessary suffering to animals in this way?

Please can you tell me if we have a case?

Many Thanks

tdlawyer :

Hi thanks for your question.

tdlawyer :

My name isXXXXX am able to answer this for you.

Customer: Ok great.
tdlawyer :

The only laws that exist about causing injury where problems arise on people's land relate to injury to people and not animals.

tdlawyer :

Animals are treated by the civil law as property.

tdlawyer :

This means that it is not, legally, possible to cause them injury and suffering for the purposes of the civil law.

tdlawyer :

Of course, there is the criminal law, which can look into this, but it looks to neglect in the care of an animal or the positive injury or mistreatment.

tdlawyer :

I know that sounds harsh and I would agree with you, but the law has been like this for centuries.

tdlawyer :

It's something that needs to be changed, but in this world we live in now, Parliament would probably say there is not enough Parliamentary time to consider this type of issue.

Customer: What about the fact that cats are free to roam and should be protected?
tdlawyer :

Cats are free to roam and people cannot actively seek to injure them - there are criminal laws against that.

tdlawyer :

But, to ask somebody to take steps on their land to prevent injury is another thing altogether.

Customer: i read a story about a man who used a rat trap and his neighbours cat got caught in it and he got 20 weeks for unnecessary suffering
tdlawyer :

Yes, and that's where somebody actively takes steps to deliberately injure them by seeking to injure them using the traps.

tdlawyer :

That's different.

tdlawyer :

It goes back to the point I made above, about actively injuring, rather than being asked to take steps to prevent injury.

Customer: ok thanks for your help, that's what I thought
tdlawyer :

OKay thank you. Is there anything else I can assist with?

Customer: No thank you, XXXXX XXXXX my question
tdlawyer :

Thank you. Finally, can I ask whether you're happy with the service today?

Customer: Yes, it's been very helpful. Thanks again.
tdlawyer :

Thanks. Take care.

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