Dog Law = Dog Sales Contracts, Disputes

How the law views a dog

The law considers dogs to be ‘chattels’ – items of property other than land. Dogs are viewed as tangible goods which can be bought and sold or given away. Consequently, any dispute arising from the sale or gift of a dog is likely to be dealt with by the courts in exactly the same manner as an action involving any other ‘goods’ e.g. a washing machine or a car.

Private sale or consumer sales?

The law differentiates between sales by a Trader to a consumer and similar transaction between private individuals. For sales by a trader, consumers have additional statutory protection in the forms of terms which are implied into a contract under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA 2015). For such consumer contracts the goods must be:-

  • of satisfactory quality
  • fit for purpose
  • as described by the seller

The buyer must prove to the court that the seller was selling as a “trader” and that they bought the dog as a consumer. Under the CRA 2015 a consumer has the right to reject goods which are not of satisfactory quality, fir for purpose, or as described within a 30-day period and to demand a refund of the purchase price. After than 30 days has expired this entitlement to a full refund ends.

The buyer may require the seller to remedy any fault (if possible) or to replace the ‘goods’ – tis may not be considered acceptable by the buyer who is likely to have already formed a close bond with the a question of fact and degree as to whether a court may consider an issue such as a dog’s temperament to be a fault sufficient to constitute a dog ‘not of satisfactory quality’ or ‘fit for purpose’. Arguably if a dog has been described as having a temperament which is clearly does not display then it may be considered as ‘not a described’ but this will depend on the evidence.

If the buyer is not able to prove that the seller was selling in his capacity as a ‘trader’ to the buyer as a ‘consumer’ the CRA 2015 will not apply. In these cases there are no implied conditions and the legal principle of caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) is likely to apply which will mean that the buyer is unlikely to have at legal remedy.

Legal Aid is highly unlikely for a civil case in which case you are either going to have to pursue it yourself of by paying for Solicitors to act on your behalf.


Dog Law

Microchipping – All dogs in the UK have to be microchipped and registered in the name of the keeper.

  • Puppies have to be microchipped by the age of 8 weeks and the keeper must ensure that their name, address and contact details are kept up to date.
  • It is an offence to fail to report an adverse event (microchip not working; the dog having a health condition attributable to the implantation; the microchip having migrated).
  • It is an offence for a keeper to transfer a dog that hasn’t been microchipped and so a breeder must ensure a dog is microchipped and registered to them on the database before sale.
  • The Council or the Police may service a Notice requiring the keeper to get a dog microchipped or to update the database and if they fail to comply that will be a criminal offence punishable by a fine of up to £500.

For more information, check out the Dogs Trust Website

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Motorway driving

The UK motorway system has expanded and evolved over the past 50 years and is now a very different place from the early motorways on the 1960s and 1970s. Changes have included variable speed limits, a move away from the standard two or three lane format, and increased use of complex junctions and filter lane systems. To ease congestion, some stretches of the major motorways have been widened to four or even five lanes, making drivers think more carefully about their lane choices. There has also been a push to combat ‘middle-lane hogging’, which is now an offence. Traffic patrols target those who obstruct the flow of traffic by occupying an inappropriate lane.

Accident records show that, statistically, motorways are the safest roads in the UK. However, motorways incidents often involve several fast-moving vehicles and consequently result in more serious injuries and damage than collisions on other roads.

There’s often little room for error when driving fast on a motorway. The generally higher speeds and the volume of traffic mean that conditions can change much more quickly on motorways than on other roads. Because of this you need to be

  • totally alert
  • physically fit
  • concentrating fully
  • assessing well ahead.

If you aren’t, you may fail to react quickly enough to any sudden change in traffic conditions.


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