Senate passes Dog (Liability for Attacks) Act

Senators Donna Scott Mottley and Sherene Golding Campbell
The Senate on Friday afternoon passed the Dog (Liability for Attacks) Act which provides for criminal and civil liability for an owner of a dog that attacks, injures or causes the death of a person.
The Bill was tabled in the Upper House last week.
During her contribution to the debate, Senator Scott Mottley said she was disappointed with the crafting of aspects of the legislation.
She has taken issue with the section which speaks of the person responsible for a dog to exercise management and control of the animal to prevent injury of an individual in a public space.
She questioned the intent of the legislation, asking whether it was to criminalise the failure of the owner or to ensure that the persons who suffer injury are adequately and significantly compensated. 
"Where you are disfigured as young Mickele Allen has been, or where you suffer serious mental impairment as is considered by the legislation itself, what you need is money; money to treat your condition, money to help you overcome what you have experienced. It is not that you want to see somebody incarcerated," she argued.  
Government Senator Sherene Golding Campbell highlighted that dog attacks in Jamaica are under-reported.
She said the new legislation will change that as it will encourage the reporting of dog attacks and enable the collection of data needed to drive further legislative changes. 
Fines under the legislation range from $500,000 to $3 million or imprisonment of up to 15 years.

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