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  1. #1

    Default My hound kicked: owner refuses to pay

    12 days ago I was walking my two, sorry couple, of Basset Hounds on a public footpath in Somerset north of Sherborne - yes both on the lead - across a horse trainer's field. About a dozen horses were following and sniffing when one turned and kicked my 12 year old in the stomach just forward of the hind leg. If you've got to be kicked anywhere that's the best place for no bones were broken and while I bent down to help she understandably sank her teeth in my wrist. Fortunately the farmer's wife came and washed the blood off and my hound amazingly seemed to be able to finish the walk. However the vet found a nasty wound, she was considerably traumatised, cried for two days and was put on painkillers and antibiotics. I don't think anyone would be surprised that I sent the vet's bill for £107 to the owner fully expecting to be paid. By Return. Hearing nothing at all I rang him yesterday, to be told "I've rung the NFU and they say don't pay." Not once did he apologise or ask how my Matilda was. Whatever happened to decency and courtesy? Am I left with any alternative other than sue through the Small Claims Court?

  2. #2

    Default Re: My hound kicked: owner refuses to pay

    TBH I'm not sure I'd pay either. Apologise profusely and be sorry yes, pay, no.

  3. #3
    Fais pas chier! cinnamontoast's Avatar
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    Default Re: My hound kicked: owner refuses to pay

    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.

  4. #4
    Just backed
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    Default Re: My hound kicked: owner refuses to pay

    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?
    The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits

  5. #5
    Veteran WorkingGSD's Avatar
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    Default Re: My hound kicked: owner refuses to pay

    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.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: My hound kicked: owner refuses to pay

    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.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: My hound kicked: owner refuses to pay

    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

  8. #8

    Default Re: My hound kicked: owner refuses to pay

    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
    Three greyhounds are not enough..... I miss you so much Islay greyhound, always the most beautiful girl in the world

  9. #9
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    Default Re: My hound kicked: owner refuses to pay

    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.

  10. #10
    Old nag
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    Default Re: My hound kicked: owner refuses to pay

    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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