From a case in the Court of Session, reported in the news area of the Journal of the Law Society of Scotland.
This seems to have been an unfortunate accident involving an excitable black lab that collided with another dog walker and injured her knee, while it was playing with her own dog. It was attempted to establish liability for the behaviour of the dog under the Animals (Scotland) Act 1987:
“Section 1 of the Act provides, so far as relevant:
“1(1) … a person shall be liable for any injury or damage caused by an animal if –
(b) the animal belongs to a species whose members generally are by virtue of their physical attributes or habits likely (unless controlled or restrained) to injure severely or kill persons or animals, or damage property to a material extent; and
(c) the injury or damage complained of is directly referable to such physical attributes or habits.
(2) In this section ‘species’ includes –
(a) a form or variety of the species …
(3) For the purposes of sub-section (1)(b) above –
(a) dogs … shall be deemed to be likely (unless controlled or restrained) to injure severely or kill persons or animals by biting or otherwise savaging, attacking or harrying …”
As Lord Malcolm said: “The pursuer’s case is that, by virtue of their physical attributes or habits, black labradors are likely to injure severely or kill persons unless restrained or controlled (section 1(1)(b)). I suspect that for the general population this proposition would cause much incredulity. “
Very true – I think you may well be more likely to be bounced to death, or drowned in drool than be confronted with a Cujo-type labrador attack…