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Old 23 May 2007, 11:53 AM
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Embra Embra is offline
Join Date: 01 June 2000
Location: Surrey, UK
Posts: 7,779

Originally Posted by Jay Temple View Post
ISTR that under English Common Law, every dog was entitled to "one free bite." That is, until the first time your dog bit someone, you were not liable because your dog was presumed not to be dangerous, and after that you were liable. This came up precisely in connection with the question raised, so before the various localities changed their laws, the situation described in the OP probably did apply.
The law relating to dogs in England and Wales is governed quite extensively by statute: DEFRA summarises the current law.

The question in the OP seems really to relate more to "occupiers liability" than to dangerous dogs per se.

Even before the various statutes were enacted, I can't really see common law getting as detailed as "one free bite": it might have been relevant in a decision about whether liability would attach to a negligent owner (i.e. if the owner had done everything reasonable to prevent their dog biting people but the dog was somehow provoked in an unforeseeable way).
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