How is the Master of an Animal Liable in Tort Law?

24 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2014 Last revised: 29 Jul 2014

Date Written: August 23, 2010


This paper examines how the owner of an animal is liable in civil law for trespass, physical injury, and other acts caused by such animal, both inside and outside the owner’s property. It explores how the master is liable for injury to known parties as well as strangers. The paper scrutinizes how and to what extent the owner can escape liability through emerging insurance policies. The research methodology is critical and based largely on cases and positions of historic and current law -- Roman law, common law and Indian law. It examines provisions of the Animals Act, 1971 and the Cattle Trespass Act, 1871 of English Law and Indian law respectively. Sources of information include statutes and primary and secondary texts: both in the print and electronic form. This paper examines how the scienter and the vicious propensity rules have been used to give rise to liability.

Keywords: Animal trespass, Vicious, Scienter, Tort, Distress damage feasant, Keeper’s liability, Animals Act, Royor v. Pryor

Suggested Citation

Batra, Mukta, How is the Master of an Animal Liable in Tort Law? (August 23, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

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