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C.C.S.M. c. A95
The Animal Liability Act
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(Assented to June 29, 1998)
HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:
In this Act,
"animal" means any creature that is not human; (« animal »)
"common-law partner" of a person means a person who, not being married to the other person, is cohabiting with him or her in a conjugal relationship of some permanence; (« conjoint de fait »)
"generally accepted agricultural practice" means a practice that is conducted in a manner consistent with proper and accepted customs and standards as established and followed by similar agricultural operations under similar circumstances, including the use of innovative technology combined with advanced management practices; (« pratique agricole généralement acceptée »)
"minister" means the member of the Executive Council charged by the Lieutenant Governor in Council with the administration of this Act; (« ministre »)
(a) a local government district, and
(b) as defined under The Northern Affairs Act,
(i) an incorporated community, and
(ii) in northern Manitoba anywhere other than in an incorporated community, the minister responsible for the administration of The Northern Affairs Act; (« municipalité »)
"owner", in relation to an animal, includes a person who harbours the animal; (« propriétaire »)
"peace officer" includes every officer under The Forest Act, The Fisheries Act and The Wildlife Act; (« agent de la paix »)
"running at large", in relation to an animal, means that the animal is not
(a) under the direct, continuous and effective control of a person competent to control it, or
(b) securely confined within an enclosure or otherwise so that it is unable to roam at will. (« laissé en liberté » ou « en liberté »)
In this Act, "livestock" means
(a) animals kept for the purpose of
(i) production of meat,
(ii) production of other products from the animals, or
(iii) herding, protection of livestock or draft work,
and breeding stock of such animals; and
(b) animals kept for the purpose of improving or preserving any species or kind of animal that may be kept for a purpose set out in subclause (a)(i), (ii) or (iii);
and, without limitation, includes animals that are of a species or kind prescribed in the regulations as livestock for the purposes of this Act and that are kept for any purpose set out in clause (a) or (b) or for a qualifying purpose prescribed in the regulations in relation to that species or kind of animal or to livestock in general.
For the purposes of this Act, while they are cohabiting, persons who have registered their common-law relationship under section 13.1 of The Vital Statistics Act are deemed to be cohabiting in a conjugal relationship of some permanence.
ANIMAL OWNERS' LIABILITY
Subject to subsection (3), the owner of an animal is liable for damages resulting from harm that the animal causes to a person or to property, but in an action in the Court of Queen's Bench to recover damages under this section, the court shall reduce the damages awarded in proportion to the degree, if any, to which the fault or negligence of the plaintiff caused or contributed to the harm.
Except as provided in subsection (3), liability under this section does not depend upon the owner's knowledge of any propensity of the animal or upon any fault or negligence by the owner.
In an action brought under this section against the owner of livestock for damages for harm alleged to have been caused by the livestock while running at large, it is a defence for the owner to prove that
(a) his or her control of the livestock was in accordance with generally accepted agricultural practices; or
(b) the livestock was at large due to an act of God or the act or default of a person other than
(i) the owner,
(ii) an employee of the owner acting within the scope of his or her employment, or
(iii) the spouse, common-law partner or child of the owner, who is not estranged from him or her.
Damages awarded under this section shall be calculated in the same manner as in the tort of negligence.
Subject to subsection (3), where there is more than one owner of an animal, they are jointly and severally liable under this section.
An owner who is liable to pay damages under this section is entitled to recover contribution and indemnity from any other person in proportion to the degree, if any, to which the other person's fault or negligence caused or contributed to the harm.
The cause of action created by this Act is in addition to any other cause of action that exists at common law or by statute.
No person shall bring an action or recover damages in the common law torts of scienter and cattle trespass where the cause of action arises after this Act comes into effect.
Except when permitted by a by-law of a municipality, no owner or person in charge of an animal shall allow it to run at large.
An owner's liability under section 2 is not limited or otherwise affected by a by-law referred to in subsection (1).
A municipality that makes a by-law referred to in subsection (1) is not liable, by reason only of having made the by-law, for damages for any harm that an animal causes to a person or property while running at large in the manner permitted under the by-law.
In this section and in section 7, "prescribed animal" means an animal of a species prescribed in the regulations for the purposes of these sections.
Any person who finds a
(b) wild boar; or
(c) prescribed animal;
worrying, injuring or killing livestock on the premises of the owner or possessor of the livestock without the permission of that owner or possessor may destroy the dog, wild boar or prescribed animal.
No person may destroy a dog, wild boar or prescribed animal that he or she finds straying on his or her premises, unless it is worrying, injuring or killing livestock then on the premises.
No person destroying a dog, wild boar or prescribed animal under any of the circumstances mentioned in subsection (2) is liable in an action for damages for the destruction of the dog, wild boar or prescribed animal.
Any person may make a written statement on oath before a justice
(a) alleging that another person is the owner of a
(ii) wild boar, or
(iii) prescribed animal,
that has, within the previous six months, worried, injured or killed livestock; and
(b) requesting a destruction order.
Upon receiving a written statement under subsection (1), the justice shall fix the date, time and place of a destruction order hearing to be held before a judge of The Provincial Court and shall provide the person requesting the destruction order with a notice of hearing.
Subject to subsection (4), a person requesting a destruction order under this section shall
(a) personally serve the alleged owner with a copy of the written statement and notice of hearing; or
(b) cause a copy of the written statement and notice of hearing to be personally served on the alleged owner;
at least 14 days before the date set for the destruction order hearing and file an affidavit of service with the justice at least seven days before the date of the hearing.
Where the owner cannot be served with the notice of hearing in accordance with subsection (3),
(a) the justice shall adjourn the hearing, fix a new date, time and place for the hearing and provide the person requesting the destruction order with a notice of hearing for the new date; and
(b) the person requesting the destruction order shall serve the alleged owner with a copy of the written statement and the notice of hearing issued under this subsection
(i) in the manner, within the time and with the evidence of service provided for in subsection (3), or
(ii) in such other manner as may be prescribed by regulation.
After a hearing under this section, the judge may order that the owner destroy the dog, wild boar or prescribed animal within three days, and may further order that, if the owner ignores the order, the dog, wild boar or prescribed animal may be humanely destroyed by, or at the direction of, a peace officer.
In addition to making an order under subsection (5), the judge may order that the owner pay the costs of the hearing and the expenses of destroying the dog, wild boar or prescribed animal.
The making of a written statement or the destruction of a dog, wild boar or prescribed animal under this section is not a bar to an action by the owner or possessor of livestock for the recovery of damages for the injury done to or killing of the livestock by the dog, wild boar or prescribed animal.
Notwithstanding section 4 of The Proceedings Against The Crown Act, Her Majesty the Queen in right of the Province of Manitoba is not bound by this Act.
Any person who contravenes a provision of this Act or the regulations for which a penalty is not otherwise provided is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction
(a) for a first offence, to a fine of not more than $5,000. or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months; and
(b) for each subsequent offence, to a fine of not more than $10,000. or to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year.
The minister may make regulations
(a) prescribing species of animals that are livestock for the purposes of this Act when they are kept for a purpose set out in clause 1(2)(a) or (b) or prescribed in the regulations;
(b) prescribing qualifying purposes as provided for in subsection 1(2);
(c) prescribing species of animals for the purposes of sections 6 and 7;
(d) respecting the regulation of animals and providing for the impounding of animals found running at large and for causing them to be sold or destroyed if not claimed within the time prescribed in the regulations or if damages, fines and expenses are not paid in accordance with the regulations;
(e) respecting the establishment and operation of facilities for holding impounded animals;
(f) respecting compensation to be allowed for services rendered in carrying out the provisions of this Act or the regulations;
(g) respecting the form of any document required or provided for under this Act, including a written statement under subsection 7(1);
(h) respecting the manner of service of a written statement or notice of hearing under clause 7(4)(b);
(i) defining any word or expression used but not specifically defined in this Act;
(j) respecting any matter that the minister considers necessary or advisable to carry out the purpose of this Act effectively.
NOTE: These sections contained consequential amendments to other Acts, which amendments are now included in those Acts.
This Act may be cited as The Animal Liability Act and referred to as chapter A95 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.
This Act comes into force on the day it receives royal assent.