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The Animals Act 1971: Keeping Wild Animals at Home

Animals Act 1971 is a set of regulations that help to solve the cases when animals that were domesticated by people attacked individuals or caused them some damage. There are many aspects to consider in each particular situation, from the definition of a dangerous animal to the possible reasons for its attack. Therefore, this essay aims to analyze the Animals Act 1971, observing it from the different sides through the case study of Phillipa and Victor.

Before defining the degree of Phillipa’s liabilities, in this incident, it is critical to determine whether she is considered the keeper of a parrot and what type of animal a Macaw parrot is. If the person who was injured aims to sue the owner of the animal, there are certain factors to be considered in the first place. The victim should prove that the accident happened because of the owner’s negligence or the lack of control over the animal’s behavior. Also, an essential factor in the case is whether the animal is considered to be dangerous or non-dangerous. Dangerous animals are the ones who usually live in the wildlife in the British Isles or in other countries (Ralli injury lawyers 2018). In addition, it is not a regular practice to keep them at home as domestic animals since those kinds primarily live in nature, such as fox or wolf. When they grow, they can easily attack the person if the animals are not restricted from coming close to people or kept in a cage or other ways of holding them at a safe distance.

If the court decides that the animal is dangerous, then it does not matter whether if it was the keeper’s fault; they are fully responsible for the accident since the pet was not initially domestic. This statement applies to the case of Behrens v Bertram Mills Circus (1957), when the elephant chased the dog and injured Plaintiff and his property (Liability under the Animals Act 1971—dangerous species 2022). When the animal is a non-dangerous type but caused some damage to the person, the liability of the owner should be detected by several aspects that will help to determine whether they are guilty or not (Ralli injury lawyers 2018). In the situation with Tutin v. Mary Chipperfield Promotions Ltd (1980), the defendant could avoid the accusation because the camel was not considered a wild animal and the claimant was taking a willing risk (Patrick D. Hoctor, Petitioner, v. United States Department of Agriculture Respondent, 2022). However, because the keeper of the camel also showed some negligence, the claimant succeeded in her accusations.

First of all, it is crucial to define if the animal tends to attack people if it is not restrained or by its aggressive behavior leads to the injury of a person. In order to prove that the keeper is responsible for the incident is critical to take into consideration the typical behavioral pattern of the animal. Sometimes the representative of a particular species may act differently from others and demonstrate unique traits or acts of behavior that are not common to the kind (Ralli injury lawyers 2018). All those features should be known by the owner, and if the person who takes care of the animal is aware of that fact, then his liability is proven.

In the situation of Phillipa, it is possible to assume that she is the keeper and that the Macaw parrot is a non-dangerous animal. Parrots are a widespread type of domestic animal, and there are many different breeds of them that vary in their behavioral types. Macaw parrot was initially inhabited in the tropics but considered safe and appropriate to be kept as domestic animal. Since they are not supposed to be aggressive or unpredictably attack people, there might be additional reasons for that kind of behavior. There is a possibility that the owner of the animal can avoid the punishment for the animal attack in two certain circumstances. In the first situation, the attack happened strictly because of the injured person, who is accountable for the consequences of their acts. For instance, they could provoke the animal by scaring them, acting inappropriately, knowing that they put the animal under stress, or causing uncontrolled reactions.

As well, if the individual is aware of the potential danger that the animal might cause but decide to approach it anyway, then it is entirely their responsibility for the following reaction of the animal. In the case of McQuaker v Goddard (1940), the camel is considered to be a domestic animal since it was trained by the people and adapted to certain living conditions (McQuaker v. Goddard 2022). The same way can be explained to the court why the Macaw parrot is a domestic animal despite his origin being in the tropics.

It can be assumed that parrot is usually non-dangerous and non-aggressive that can freely coexist with people without attacking them. Phillipa, as an argument of her defense, may claim that there was a trigger that stimulated the parrot to bite Victor. The same plea was used in the case of Mirvahedy v Henley (2003) when Mirvahedy claimed that such an uncommon behavior of horses was caused by some trigger and usually they do not flee (Judgments – Mirvahedy (FC) (Respondent) v. Henley and another (Appellants) 2022). Since she supposedly knew all the behavioral habits of the parrot and did not lock it in the cage, utterly sure that it would cause no harm, then it could be used in Phillipa’s defense.

Thus, as a strategic tactic, Phillipa can provide the court with the argument in favor of her parrot, claiming that it is a non-dangerous domestic parrot. She might also prove that it was not her fault or negligence since the parrot was not in the cage because it is safe for people and does not attack them. Phillipa should focus on the fact the animal reacted to some trigger Victor caused that affected the reaction of the bird. Therefore, she will be able to avoid the liabilities for the incident.

Reference List

Judgments – Mirvahedy (FC) (Respondent) v. Henley and another (Appellants). Web.

Liability under the Animals Act 1971—dangerous species. Web.

Lydia, B. (2018) ‘Animal Accident Claims: A Close Look at the Animals Act 1971), Ralli injury lawyers. Web.

McQuaker v. Goddard. Web.

Patrick D. Hoctor, Petitioner, v. United States Department of Agriculture Respondent. Web.

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"The Animals Act 1971: Keeping Wild Animals at Home." StudyKraken, 3 Jan. 2023,

1. StudyKraken. "The Animals Act 1971: Keeping Wild Animals at Home." January 3, 2023.


StudyKraken. "The Animals Act 1971: Keeping Wild Animals at Home." January 3, 2023.


StudyKraken. 2023. "The Animals Act 1971: Keeping Wild Animals at Home." January 3, 2023.


StudyKraken. (2023) 'The Animals Act 1971: Keeping Wild Animals at Home'. 3 January.

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