Justice Minister Tables Bill To Protect Jamaicans From Dogs

Delroy Chuck

Minister of Justice, Delroy Chuck, on Tuesday tabled the Dogs (Liability for Attacks) Act 2020 in the House of Representatives, which will provide for criminal and civil liability for an owner of a dog that attacks, injures and or causes the death of a person.

This follows several vicious attacks on members of the public up to 2019, which led to a national outcry for the existing 1877 Act to be amended, as it had no provision for criminal sanctions for negligence of persons whose dogs attack or injure members of the public.

According to the Memorandum of Objects and Reasons, the decision has been taken to repeal the Dogs (Liability for Injuries by) Act and replace it with legislation that imposes a statutory duty on the owner of a dog (defined to include any person responsible for a dog) to exercise management and control of the dog, to ensure that the dog does not cause injury to an individual in a public place.