Dog owners to shoulder all responsibility if banned large dog injures someone: top court

(Global Times) 08:46, February 06, 2024

Dog owners will shoulder all the responsibility if a banned large dog attacks or injures someone, with no right to argue for reduced or exempted liability, even if the victim is partly to blame, China's top court said on Monday.

The Supreme People's Court made a clear statement in a case that was revealed on Monday. The case showed that an Alaskan dog, which belongs to the category of large dogs prohibited from being raised in the city's built-up areas, scratched the face of a 7-year-old surnamed Xu, causing injuries.

Xu and their grandmother Wang were playing with the dog when they encountered it and its owner, surnamed Liu, walking the dog in a residential area. After the injury, Xu was taken to the hospital by the family and hospitalized for treatment.

As negotiations between Xu's family and Liu regarding compensation failed, Xu's family filed a lawsuit demanding that Liu pay compensation for medical expenses, food subsidies during hospitalization, transportation expenses, nursing fees, and other costs totaling 33,010 yuan ($4,638).

The court decided that according to the Civil Code, if a prohibited aggressive dog or other dangerous animal causes harm to others, the person who raises or manages the animal shall bear tort liability.

This provision indicates that the person who raises or manages a prohibited aggressive dog or other dangerous animal shall bear strict no-fault liability and has no right to argue for reduced or exempted liability.

In this case, although Xu had some fault in provoking the dog, it does not reduce Liu's responsibility. The final judgment is that Liu should pay compensation of 30,197.65 yuan.

Chen Yifang, chief judge of the First Civil Division of the Supreme People's Court, said the case signifies the concept of not allowing the raising of prohibited dog breeds.

There has been heated discussion over dog management in China, especially after a 2-year-old girl was reportedly seriously hurt by a rottweiler in Chongzhou, a county-level city in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province in October, 2023.

The dog's owner, surnamed Tang, has been placed under criminal detention by the local police, Sichuan Provincial Department of Public Security confirmed with the Xinhua News Agency.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Zhong Wenxing)


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