ANIMALS, Cruelty to.—It is a punishable offence to cruelly beat, ill treat, over-drive, over-ride, abuse or torture, or cause or procure such to be done to any animal. Wild animals, even in captivity, were not included in the above until the Wild Animals in Captivity Act, 1900, was passed. There must be sonic evidence against a person charged with cruelty to animals that he was aware of the cruelty being practised. If a man begins to kill an animal, he must proceed to kill it outright. It would not be cruelty where the suffering is inflicted by reason of necessity or with an adequate and reasonable object. Cropping a dog's cars and dishorning cattle would be cruelty. No one may use or permit a place to be used for baiting or fighting any bull, bear, badger, dog, cock, or other kind of animal, wild or domestic. Any one who has impounded an animal must provide it with sufficient food and water ; and any one who conveys or carries, or causes to be conveyed or carried, any animal in a vehicle must do so in such manner as will prevent unneces sary pain or suffering. must be licensed ; and subject to penalties, the person engaged in the management thereof must affix his name over the door ; cut off the mane of a horse directly it is brought in ; kill it within three days ; feed it properly, and not work it in the meanwhile ; keep and produce a book of identification ; and not obstruct a constable whilst exercising any of his powers. Injured animals which cannot be removed without cruelty, may, if the owner is absent or refuses to consent to its destruc tion, be ordered by a police constable to be slaughtered, and the expenses may be recovered from the owner. The constable should first, if a veterinary
surgeon resides within a reasonable distance, obtain a certificate from such a surgeon. The maliciously killing or maiming of animals, not being cattle, may be punished by a magistrate ; but of cattle, the offence will be a felony. It is not such a malicious killing to trap or shoot trespassing dogs or cats ; but it is an offence to wilfully and unlawfully administer of cause to be administered poison or injurious substances to horses, cattle, or other domestic animals, without reasonable cause or excuse. And see ANIMALS, in Appendix ; CONTAGIOUS DISEASES.
The rights and liabilities in respect to animals are founded on the same principles as those relating to persons and property. Negligence must be shown in order to make the owner liable for mischief done by animals usually kept under restraint, but not of a naturally mischievous nature. Or he must be shown to have a knowledge that the animal in question has a vicious tendency, or is likely to attack mankind. This is the reason why a clog is said to be allowed by law to have his first bite. But a first bite is not necessary if it can be shown that to its owner's knowledge the animal would probably bite when oVt of restraint. But the question of negligence has no place where a usually savage or mischievous species of animal is at fault, such as a lion or monkey. In such cases the owner keeps the animal at his peril. If a dog worry sheep, its owner is liable without any evidence of negligence or knowledge being necessary. See HORSES ; WILD BIRDS AND ANIMALS.