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THE REGULATION AND PROTECTION OF ANIMALS KEPT FOR COMPANIONSHIP : A CRITICAL ANALYSIS AND COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE

Lorraine Poole



Publish Date:
May, 2007
Place of Publication: Faculty of Laws, University of Malta
Printable Version

THE REGULATION AND PROTECTION OF ANIMALS KEPT FOR COMPANIONSHIP : A CRITICAL ANALYSIS AND COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE

ABSTRACT

The aim of this work is to establish whether animals kept for companionship are satisfactorily regulated and protected by the law. This is achieved by means of a detailed study of the primary and secondary legislation referring to or wholly concerning such animals. Particular regulatory measures are looked into first, revealing the inadequacy of obscure licencing provisions owing to their non-enforcement and an underlying absence of purpose and method and confirming the proposition that the law often classifies animals strictly as property. This would be acceptable if the law also acknowledged that although subject to ownership companion animals are also living creatures but judging by norms that allow for the destruction of certain animals, even where these are healthy and docile, this does not appear to be the case. The categorization of animals is clearly reflected in the normative treatment of them. For one doctrine that elaborates upon the civil liability incurred for damage caused by animals, property is the basis for this liability and in any case it is the owner or user of a companion animal who must make good for the damage or injury caused by it. The Animal Welfare Act which is the principal legislation protecting animals from ill-treatment is analysed and found to have accomplished much in some areas whilst showing insufficiencies in others, for which suggestions for improvement are proposed. The movement, importation and transport of companion animals is covered by domestic and Community legislation as well as established industry standards. The relevant legislation adequately deals with all aspects of movement but what is even more significant is the fact that it successfully manages to combine effective regulation with animal welfare. And this should be the objective of any law dealing with animals.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I would like to thank Dr David Zammit for his assistance and guidance throughout, it is sincerely appreciated.

To mummy, papa and Amanda for all the tea, support and encouragement and for always believing in me.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS 

 

Table of Statutes       

Table of Treaties   

Table of Judgments   

Introduction

                                                                                                    

Chapter 1   General regulatory measures pertaining to companion animals

1.1              Dog licence                                                                                             

1.2              Bathing restrictions                                                                                

1.3              Stray animals                                                                                          

1.4              Aggressive animals

Chapter 2   Liability for damage caused by companion animals

2.1              Civil liability incurred for damage caused by animals                          

2.1.1        Introduction                                                                                               

2.1.2        Liability under our Civil Code                                                             

2.1.3        Nature and basis of the responsibility under Section 1040                               

2.1.4        Presumption of culpa                                                                                     

2.1.5        Quem sequitur commodum eum teneat incommodum                          

2.1.6        Exculpatory proof                                                                                          

2.1.7        The active subject of the action                                                          

2.1.8        The passive subject of the action and the notion of use                        

2.1.9        The animal                                                                                             

2.1.10    The causal nexus                                                                                    

2.1.11    Damages                                                                                                

2.2              Criminal liability incurred for damage caused by animals

Chapter 3   Cruelty to animals and criminal liability incurred therefor 

3.1              Neglect                                                                                              

3.2              Surgical modification                                                                      

3.3              Organized fighting                                                                           

3.4              Abandonment                                                                                  

3.5              Other acts of cruelty directed at animals                     

Chapter 4   Movement of companion animals

4.1              Movement of companion animals within and into the Union                     

4.1.1        Movement between Member States                                                               

4.1.2        Movement into Malta from third countries                                                      

4.1.3        Movement into other Member States from third countries                               

4.2              Importation of companion animals                                                            

4.2.1        Conditions for the importation of dogs and cats                                 

4.2.2        Arrival and detention in quarantine                                                     

4.2.3        Exotic companion animals                                                                  

4.3              Transport of companion animals                                                    

4.3.1        Reservation and advance arrangements                                             

4.3.2        Animal behaviour                                                                               

4.3.3        Documentation                                                                                 

4.3.4        Container requirements                                                                     

4.3.5        Marking and labelling                                                                         

Conclusion                                                                 

Appendix 1                                                                    

Appendix 2                                                                                    

Appendix 3

Bibliography

                                                                                                     

[Click on the following links for the Animal Welfare Law (pdf file - 35.94 KB) and the Dog Law (pdf file - 24.72 KB).]

 

 

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