My hound kicked: owner refuses to pay

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Given my history, I wouldn't dream of walking my dogs through any kind of livestock and I don't believe an owner is liable for an injury if you choose to walk through a herd. I stopped catching in with my dog when 20 geldings surrounded me me started advancing.

Why do you think the owner of the field should pay? Was it his horse? Do you know if he has public liability insurance?

Hope your dog heals quickly and without complications.
 
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I am not familiar with whatever legal situation would apply as we tend not to have public footpaths crossing private land in Ireland as commonly as seems to be the case in the UK. But I think that if I were the horse owner and the dog walker had every right to be there with their dogs under control, then I would feel morally obliged to pay the vet bill if my animals were the "guilty party". Common decency would ensure that I would be concerned about the injured dog and at the very least enquire about its recovery.

That said, is there any obligation on the livestock owner to ensure that any animals kept in an area where there is public access are safe or does the walker use the public access at their own risk?
 

WorkingGSD

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Hmmm difficult one. It might be worth speaking to the specialist dog lawyer, Trevor Cooper, to get his advice on this.

In the set of circumstances described by you, I would think the fairest option would be for the horse owner to pay half of the bill and that is what I would do if my horse injured an on-lead dog who had the right to be in the field with him.

I hope Matilda makes a speedy and full recovery.
 

MyBoyChe

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Im not 100% sure but I believe that the owner of the land has a duty of care to the public if they are on a public right of way and behaving correctly. It might be worth speaking to your local council who should be able to clarify that fact, then decide what action you could take. I had an incident a few years ago where a mare and foal were turned out in a field with a bridleway through it, as I went to ride across said field the farmer came out and said "you must be mad to ride through there with a mare and foal in it" I suggested he provided me with an option if he considered it dangerous, which he did, through his farmyard. I spoke to our local council who said that he would be liable if an accident occurred as a result of his livestock on a prow.
 

Kaylum

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Do you have a witness? Did the farmers wife see what happened? The horse trainer will probably deny all knowledge. I would just pay it myself and accept these things happen
 

<97702>

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What a strange first post on the forum.... no, I would not expect the land owner to pay, it may not be his horse which kicked! Quite honestly I would pay the vets bill myself and be thankful that it did no serious damage
 

Chiffy

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This is interesting. Many years ago, a friend of mine had her youngster at livery. At one point it was turned out in a field with a public footpath running through it. The youngster was cheeky and playful but fairly harmless. One day he started to follow a walker across the field and then attempted to pick him up by his rucksack!
There was a dickens of a fuss, with threat of suing. I am afraid we all thought it quite funny but it must have been frightening for someone unhorsey.
My friend was terrified of the consequences but it all settled down with the promise that the horse would not go in that field again.
I do believe that there is a law 'dangerous ' animals should not be in fields with footpaths.
 

JillA

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I'm not sure what applies in a case like this but the general rule is unless there had been a history of similar episodes, an animals owner cannot be held responsible - only if he knew it was a real possibility as it had happened before does he have a duty of care to ensure no-one is at risk.

If the dog was on lead, wasn't the horse close enough to you as handler for you to be able to shoo it away?
 
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If this is a legal footpath, then the land owner should put signs up saying that dog walkers need to understand that they do so at their peril and that their are free grazing horses and can act aggressively if they feel threatened.

That said dog walkers choose to run the risk as they would with cows, so really I would not expect the land owner to pay your bill, as previously said they may not be his horse, This might be a one off incident or the land owner may have put signs on before. Were the horses close by when you started to cross the field? I have crossed livestock fields and when on I have to walk the part I either deviate around them or change my route.
 
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ycbm

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If this is a legal footpath, then the land owner should put signs up saying that dog walkers need to understand that they do so at their peril and that their are free grazing horses and can act aggressively if they feel threatened.
That would be an admission of liability. Knowingly putting dangerous animals in a field on a footpath. You can't scare people off using footpaths with notices like that, either.
 
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I'm afraid whether i have a right to walk on a footpath through livestock or not, i would never do it, just in case. From my own experience, it's not the done thing where i live, & i'm often surprised to hear it seems quite common in some places. In the event of an injury, i wouldn't expect the landowner to pay, & although an apology would be nice, it could be it was withheld as it may be seen as an admission of guilt.

Hope your dog makes a good recovery x
 

CorvusCorax

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On holiday would indicate either asked for account to be deleted or been detected as having duplicate accounts on this forum.
 
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That would be an admission of liability. Knowingly putting dangerous animals in a field on a footpath. You can't scare people off using footpaths with notices like that, either.


No ...........It can also be argued that you have pre warned people that they need to be careful around animals and caution walking through the field with livestock or horses and in the eventuality something happens, then the land owner can say there is a sign warning dog walkers to keep their dogs on a lead and give the animals in the field a wide birth, otherwise you will get some stupid people walking through a the middle of a groupe of horses and wonder why they get chased or attacked.

People sue for all kinds of things and warning signs on entrance to a field, regardless of the sign
Dogs on lead
Don't feed the horses
Keep to the footpath

Can prevent injury

Dog walkers can be their own worst enemies in many cases:

They walk round the fields totaly off the actual path
They have picnics
Have their dogs off leads

If I ever had a foot path along side my field or like our neighbours through the middle I would fence it off

My old YO learnt this the hard way


Large 20 acre feild - footpath along side (not fenced off) yard had no signs coming over the style gate.

Dog walkers frequently walking round the whole of the field off the path, groupe of dog walkers (12 of them) dog owners totaly not paying attention and dogs on extention leads at full length, onwers gossiping and giggling. Walked through the horses which were on both sides of the path. One dog on full length went up behind a 14hh pony. One *POWWW* dog through the air and stone dead when it hit the ground. Yard owner told to put signs at both ends of her fields where path enters and leaves telling the GP to keep alert and be careful crossing the fieldand stick to the path.


Dog owner tried to sue but it did not amount to much but to YO suggested they put signs up
 
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MiJodsR2BlinkinTite

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Mmmmmm..... just a few observations from my own slant on this:

Firstly, this is a "PUBLIC" footpath. So, the (errhh) "public" have a right to be there, yes?? "Public" means just that, public, and so you could have literally anyone walking across that field, people with dogs, kiddies out with mummy, children going for a ramble etc etc. Sorry but if it was someone's kiddie who'd got kicked then I'm sure there'd be a Klu Klux Klan lynching mob on here demanding blood from the horse's owner, right??

So why different if it is a dog? The dog in question was with the owner, it was, we are assured, ON A LEAD and therefore under close control.

Forgive me, but to me the issue is clear cut. The owner of the horse(s) should damn well pay up for the damage. And make damn sure that the horses are fenced off from the public area in the future so something like this can't happen again. If they can kick a dog, then the horrendous possibility is there that they could also kick a person. If they were mine, I would put up some leccy fencing and keep them away from the public footpath.
 

JillA

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The law only regards bulls and stallions as unsuitable for the public to encounter on a public right of way, so, like I said before, unless the owner knew the horse in question was likely to be aggressive (i.e. had done it before) there is no legal reason why it should not be in the same field as the footpath. So I don't see how he can be liable in law. Morally, well that's a different matter, but there is such a thing as an accident - no-ones fault, just one of those things. That's what this sounds like to me.
I'm property hunting at the moment and for reasons like this, as well as security, I have turned down any with public footpaths running through the land.
 

Clodagh

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Mmmmmm..... just a few observations from my own slant on this:

Firstly, this is a "PUBLIC" footpath. So, the (errhh) "public" have a right to be there, yes?? "Public" means just that, public, and so you could have literally anyone walking across that field, people with dogs, kiddies out with mummy, children going for a ramble etc etc. Sorry but if it was someone's kiddie who'd got kicked then I'm sure there'd be a Klu Klux Klan lynching mob on here demanding blood from the horse's owner, right??

So why different if it is a dog? The dog in question was with the owner, it was, we are assured, ON A LEAD and therefore under close control.

Forgive me, but to me the issue is clear cut. The owner of the horse(s) should damn well pay up for the damage. And make damn sure that the horses are fenced off from the public area in the future so something like this can't happen again. If they can kick a dog, then the horrendous possibility is there that they could also kick a person. If they were mine, I would put up some leccy fencing and keep them away from the public footpath.
It would make more sense to move the public footpath to the field edge and fence that off, but the Ramblers Association won't allow anything sensible like that.
I actually agree with you, in that people should be able to cross fields safely, but I wouldn't risk myself or my dog in a herd of anything. Except sheep, I am not scared of sheep!
 

minesadouble

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The law only regards bulls and stallions as unsuitable for the public to encounter on a public right of way, so, like I said before, unless the owner knew the horse in question was likely to be aggressive (i.e. had done it before) there is no legal reason why it should not be in the same field as the footpath. So I don't see how he can be liable in law. Morally, well that's a different matter, but there is such a thing as an accident - no-ones fault, just one of those things. That's what this sounds like to me.
I'm property hunting at the moment and for reasons like this, as well as security, I have turned down any with public footpaths running through the land.
I could be wrong but I think the law prohibits only dairy bulls from fields encumbered with a public footpath, I think beef bulls are not prohibited - this certainly used to be the case.
 
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Maybe time for a summary. I know nothing about horses but have kept Basset Hounds for 40 years, so maybe that qualifies me to post on Horse and HOUND? First thanks for those who expressed sympathy - but those who said they wouldn't pay either . . .
There is no doubt that the horse belonged or was trained or in the care of the farmer. His wife didn't dispute that.
Remember we were lucky, in that the horse could so easily have kicked her in the head or broke a leg, which for a twelve year old Basset would have been the end. And it could so easily have been a child. I did suggest he put up a suitable notice suggesting dog-owners walk round by a road but he was unsympathetic.
Anyway to cut to the meat, since posting I asked a horsey friend who advised me to contact the British Horse Society who were most helpful. They said "prima facie if you were on a public footpath and dogs were on a lead then the farmer is responsible."
So the few who knew the law, well done.
 

<97702>

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Good grief I didn't know we had to be expert lawyers before we responded to a post :eek: why did nobody warn me :eek:
 

ycbm

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Anyway to cut to the meat, since posting I asked a horsey friend who advised me to contact the British Horse Society who were most helpful. They said "prima facie if you were on a public footpath and dogs were on a lead then the farmer is responsible."
So the few who knew the law, well done.

Did you talk to a lawyer at the BHS? It sounds as though there is a bit missing of the end of your sentence, because the NFU are advising their customer, and it is all over the web, that the owner of the horse is not responsible unless the horse was known to behave in this way before being put in the field with the footpath.

Since NFU have told their customer not to pay you, are you going to sue? I'm sure we would all be interested in knowing the outcome of that if you could let us know?

He's not allowed to put up a sign saying anyone should not use the path. It's a right of way.


PS, the hounds referred to in the title of the magazine are exclusively fox/stag hounds it's a quote from a famous huntsman. Mind you, I'd love to see a pack of Bassets out hunting, what a sight that would be with all those ears flapping! :)
 

Thistle

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Did you talk to a lawyer at the BHS? It sounds as though there is a bit missing of the end of your sentence, because the NFU are advising their customer, and it is all over the web, that the owner of the horse is not responsible unless the horse was known to behave in this way before being put in the field with the footpath.

Since NFU have told their customer not to pay you, are you going to sue? I'm sure we would all be interested in knowing the outcome of that if you could let us know?

He's not allowed to put up a sign saying anyone should not use the path. It's a right of way.


PS, the hounds referred to in the title of the magazine are exclusively fox/stag hounds it's a quote from a famous huntsman. Mind you, I'd love to see a pack of Bassets out hunting, what a sight that would be with all those ears flapping! :)
There are a number of packs of hunting Bassetts, legs are a little longer, ears a little shorter, but with a hell of a voice. They hunt hares and sometimes rabbits.
 

ycbm

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There are a number of packs of hunting Bassetts, legs are a little longer, ears a little shorter, but with a hell of a voice. They hunt hares and sometimes rabbits.
Well I didn't know that, but surely they are foot packs like Beagles, and therefore my comment is still correct?
 

Alec Swan

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The law only regards bulls and stallions as unsuitable for the public to encounter on a public right of way, so, like I said before, unless the owner knew the horse in question was likely to be aggressive (i.e. had done it before) there is no legal reason why it should not be in the same field as the footpath. So I don't see how he can be liable in law. Morally, well that's a different matter, but there is such a thing as an accident - no-ones fault, just one of those things. That's what this sounds like to me.
&#8230;&#8230;.. .
I wonder what the reaction of the horse owner would be if the dogs had caused injury to one of the horses, &#8230;. 'just one of those things'? I very much doubt it.

Alec.
 

JillA

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I wonder what the reaction of the horse owner would be if the dogs had caused injury to one of the horses, &#8230;. 'just one of those things'? I very much doubt it.

Alec.
But by law dogs must be under control in a public place. That would be where the fault lies in that scenario
 

Goldenstar

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It's a question of negilence .
The owner of the horse is doing what I would do handing it over to the the insurance company who is payed to be responsible for this sort of thing .
 

Rowreach

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It's a question of negilence .
The owner of the horse is doing what I would do handing it over to the the insurance company who is payed to be responsible for this sort of thing .
Exactly. It's a matter for the insurance company and tbh it is perfectly standard for them not to pay out unless and until they have to.

I've no idea why some posters are being so hostile and unwelcoming to the OP, anyone can join the forum and post, it's not just for the chosen few who behave like they own the place.
 
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