Law of Animals Act 1962
[Long title Amended by No. 15 of 1985, s. 3 ]An Act to consolidate and reform certain enactments and rules of common law relating to animals
[Royal Assent 14 February 1963]
This Act may be cited as the Law of Animals Act 1962 and shall commence on the day on which the Local Government Act 1962 commences.
[Section 2 Amended by No. 15 of 1985, s. 4 ][Section 2 Amended by No. 30 of 1995, s. 3 and Sched. 1 ]In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears owner pound means a pound established under the Local Government Act 1993 .
The right to distrain trespassing animals is subject to the provisions of this Part.
[Section 4 Amended by No. 75 of 1973, s. 2 and Sched. 1 ]For the purposes of this Part, distance shall be reckoned by the shortest route practicable in the circumstances and distances less than a kilometre shall be disregarded in determining which is the shorter of 2 routes.
[Section 5 Subsection (1) amended by No. 30 of 1995, s. 3 and Sched. 1 ](1) [Section 5 Subsection (1) amended by No. 68 of 1994, s. 3 and Sched. 1 ]An owner who distrains a trespassing animal and detains it on his own land (a) shall, as soon as practicable after finding the animal of the particulars mentioned in section 6 (2) ;(i) inform the officer in charge of the nearest police station, if orally, confirming the information in writing as soon as practicable; and(ii) give notice in writing to the owner of the animal, if known to him, and if not to the keeper of the nearest pound (b) is bound to comply with the provisions of the Animal Welfare Act 1993 in respect of the animal;(c) may recover from the owner of the animal the charges prescribed under the Local Government Act 1993 for keep, giving notice of impounding, and damage done by the animal in trespassing; and(d) may at any time deal with the animal as provided in section 6 .(2) Where an animal detained on the distraining owner's land is dealt with as provided in section 6 within 24 hours after it is found trespassing, it is unnecessary to comply with subsection (1) (a) .(3) If an animal detained on the distraining owner's land appears to be too sick or injured reasonably to be removed to a pound the distraining owner may apply to a justice for authority to destroy the animal, and the justice, after such inquiry and inspection as he thinks sufficient, may give his authority accordingly by warrant under his hand, and shall therein direct and authorize the disposition of the carcase and of the proceeds of sale, if any, of the carcase or any part of it.(4) If an owner who has distrained a trespassing animal contravenes this section in respect of it his detention of the animal thereafter is unlawful.(5) A person who has not complied with paragraph (a) of subsection (1) within 24 hours of finding the animal trespassing shall be deemed to have contravened the paragraph unless he proves that he did comply therewith as soon as practicable.
(1) [Section 6 Subsection (1) amended by No. 75 of 1973, s. 2 and Sched. 1 ]An owner who distrains an animal trespassing on his land, if the place where the animal found trespassing is (2) With the animal he shall deliver to the poundkeeper a written statement specifying (a) his name, address, and degree, profession, or calling;(b) the description of the animal;(c) the marks and brands thereon as far as they can be ascertained;(d) the name of the owner, if known to him;(e) the place where the animal was found trespassing; and(f) the amount of the driving or transport charges and the damages, if any, claimed by him.(3) If the place where the animal is found trespassing is the same distance from 2 or more pounds the owner may cause the animal to be impounded at either or any of those pounds.(4) If the poundkeeper is absent from the nearest pound, the owner may cause the animal to be impounded at some other convenient pound.
[Section 7 Subsection (4) amended by No. 43 of 1991, s. 5 and Sched. 1 ](1) [Section 7 Subsection (1) amended by No. 30 of 1995, s. 3 and Sched. 1 ]The owner of an animal which is, or is being, or is liable to be, taken as a distress for damage done may recover the possession of the animal upon payment of all charges lawfully due under the Local Government Act 1993 in respect of the animal at the time recovery is claimed by him or on his behalf.(2) If recovery is claimed under this section before or during the taking of the animal to the pound, the person having possession of the animal shall inform the person making the claim of the name of the person on whose behalf the animal is held and of the amount of the charges which he claims to be then due.(3) If the owner of an animal taken for distress thinks that the amount is excessive or that the impounding is unlawful he may pay under protest, and the person receiving payment shall give to the person making it a receipt, if required, acknowledging that the payment is made under protest, and the owner may proceed as provided in section 8 .(a) stated by the poundkeeper to be due in respect of it, in the case of an animal received into the pound; or(b) claimed as provided in subsection (2) , in the case of an animal not yet received into a pound (4) [Section 7 Subsection (4) amended by No. 55 of 1965, s. 5 ]A person who fails to give up an animal to a person entitled to recover possession of it under this section is liable to a fine not exceeding 5 penalty units.(5) When any animal is released from a pound under this section the poundkeeper shall retain the fees, charges, and damages paid in respect of it until the expiration of the time limited for taking proceedings under section 8 in respect of the impounding or until the determination of such proceedings, if commenced.
[Section 7A Inserted by No. 15 of 2014, s. 59, Applied:19 Dec 2014] A person who
(1) [Section 8 Subsection (1) amended by No. 73 of 1993, Sched. 1, Applied:30 Mar 1998] Within 7 days after any payment has been made under protest, as provided by section 7 , the owner of the animal in respect of which the payment was made may proceed to disputeby way of action under the Magistrates Court (Civil Division) Act 1992 .(a) the amount of the fees, charges, or damages claimed in respect of the animal; or(b) the legality of the impounding(2) The person to whom payment was made shall be a defendant in an action under this section and where the plaintiff disputes the legality of the impounding the person impounding the animal shall also be a defendant.(3) [Section 8 Subsection (3) amended by No. 55 of 1965, s. 5 ]If on the hearing of the action the court is satisfied (a) that the amount of the fees, charges, and damages demanded in respect of the animal is excessive, it may (b) that the impounding was unlawful, it may order (i) the repayment to the owner of the fees, charges, and damages paid by him;(ii) the payment of any such fees, charges, and damages to the poundkeeper by the person impounding the animal; and(iii) the payment to the owner by the person impounding the animal of such compensation, not exceeding $60, as the court thinks fit.(4) The court may hear and determine the action, notwithstanding that the amount in dispute exceeds the limits of its jurisdiction.
(1) The owner of any domestic animals who has reasonable grounds for believing that any of them are on the land of another person and who (2) The justice may give to the owner a warrant under his hand subject to such terms and conditions as to the justice seem reasonable, and any such terms and conditions shall be set forth in the warrant.(3) A warrant under this section, subject to any terms and conditions thereby imposed, authorizes and empowers the owner, if accompanied by an inspector of stock or police officer, to enter on the land and search for the animals and to remove therefrom all animals belonging to him which may be found thereon, and for that purpose to employ such assistants, horses, and dogs as may be reasonably necessary.
[Part III Repealed by No. 112 of 1987, s. 89 ][Part IV Inserted by No. 15 of 1985, s. 5 ](1) This Part does not except as provided in sections 5 and 6 and in this section.(a) affect the provisions of any other enactment in relation to animals straying or grazing; or(b) affect or take away the right of any person to bring an action for trespass or any other action or any remedy available to any person at common law (2) [Section 10 Subsection (2) omitted by No. 30 of 1995, s. 3 and Sched. 1 ]. . . . . . . .(3) An action in the nature of an action of replevin may not be brought to recover from a poundkeeper possession of an animal detained in his pound.
[Section 18 Inserted by No. 15 of 1985, s. 5 ]In this Part, damage includes the death of, or injury to, a person.
[Section 19 Inserted by No. 15 of 1985, s. 5 ](1) So much of the common law relating to liability for negligence as excludes or restricts the duty which a person may owe to others to take reasonable care to see that damage is not caused by an animal straying on to a highway is hereby abolished.(2) The common law as amended by subsection (1) applies in respect of damage caused on or after the commencement of the Law of Animals Amendment Act 1985 by an animal straying on to a highway.