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Do dog owners take legal responsibility for dog bites?

Saturday, March 30, 2024, 12:05 GMT+7
Do dog owners take legal responsibility for dog bites?

Though there’s nothing wrong with having a pet, some dog owners refuse to take responsibilities for their furry friends.

In Vietnam, if a dog bites someone, does its owner assume full legal responsibility?

Pursuant to Article 603 of the Civil Code 2015, if a dog bites someone, but the victims recorded an injury rate of less than 31 percent, the dog owner must compensate the victim, according to lawyer Phung Anh Chuyen, director of ACLaw Company in Ho Chi Minh City.

Compensation in such cases includes the cost for treatment, wages for care takers, and compensation for mental harm.

Specific remuneration will depend on particular cases and be negotiated by dog owners and victims. If they fail to reach a consensus, they can file a lawsuit with the court demanding that the situation be handled in line with the law.

If dog owners fail to comply with regulations on raising pets, such as not putting them into cages, chaining them and having them wear muzzles and be vaccinated, and the dog bites cause an injury rate of 31 percent for someone, the owners will face criminal charges for unintentionally causing injuries for others pursuant to Article 138 of the Penal code.

The penalties may be fines of VND5-20 million (US$200-802) or probation of up to a year.

If a dog causes an injury rate of over 31 percent or injures many people, the dog owner will face criminal penalties of up to three years in jail.  

If a dog kills a victim, the owners will be charged with unintentionally causing the death of others in accordance with Article 128 of the Penal Code.

They will then be put on probation for up to three years or sentenced to one to five years in prison.

If their dogs kill two or more people, they will be condemned to three to 10 years behind bars.

Pursuant to Article 66 of the Law on Animal Husbandry, the owners of dogs and cats have to have their pets vaccinated and inform the commune-level administration or veterinary officials if their pets show signs of rabies.

They must ensure safety for other people and pets as well as environmental hygiene.

Lawyer Chuyen called on dog owners to ensure that their dogs do not harm others.

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Thanh Ha - Bao Duy / Tuoi Tre News


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