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Thread: Advise on culpability

  1. #1

    Advise on culpability

    Ladies and gents,

    Sadly on Christmas Day my kids pet polecat managed somehow to escape his hutch/enclosure. He's a 6 year old male neutered polecat who is as you expect being a regularly handled pet, tame. We have hunted high and low (we live in a mainly urban area) but have not been able to find him.

    However this morning a lady who lives on our street arrived at my door both furious and upset. She and her family have returned from Christmas away to find their childrens pet rabbit and chickens dead in their garden by some sort of animal attack. Now there is a nature reserve literally 50m away and I watch foxes regularly exit the reserve for a nights foraging in the gardens before returning home in the reserves dense thickets. I admit it seems bloody coincidental that this has happened after years of no problems and I therefore cannot rule out the chance that it was my polecat.

    My girlfriend and I have decided to therefore pay the cost of the replacement animals to the family. However I don't want to open myself up to any legal unpleasantness (not that any such threats have been made thus far).

    I'd love some third party insight as to how to play this?!


    All the best

    Deano

  2. #2
    I would guess that by paying the cost of replacements you are admiting guilt.....not a wise choice in my opinion.....but I am a simple dairyman and therefore unqualified......

  3. #3
    SD Regular
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    I have owned ferrets for the past 33yrs , if your escappe is as tame as you say then he should be in the area , he would probably only kill to survive and not go on a rampage .
    Ask to examine the carcases , a fox causes more damage than a ferret .
    If he is in the area place his carrying box , open and with warm bedding if he is about thats where he will end up .

    In the meantime i wouldnt be paying a penny , what if it was a mink or fox and it comes back for more ? do you pay again ?
    BE PREPARED IT WASNT RAINING WHEN THEY BUILT THE ARC

  4. #4
    If it was your polecat then you are responsible for its actions, although it would be for them to prove it was your animal that caused the problem.

    Pets (by law) are classed as possessions so the owner is entitled to simply their financial value - they can't sue you for fear or distress etc.

    Section 161 of the Highways Act 1980 (England & Wales) makes it an offence to discharge a firearm within 50 ft of the centre of a highway with vehicular rights without lawful authority or excuse, if as a result a user of the highway is injured, interrupted or endangered.

  5. #5
    If you decide to pay up. Get it in writing that its a goodwill gesture , that you admit no liability , and its a full and final payment

  6. #6
    Nice gesture but I hope you made it very clear that it was just that "a gesture" and by no means were you accepting responsibility. Personally at the risk of falling out with a neighbour unless they had absolute proof that it was my polecat I would have told her to take a hike. There are numerous other possibilities.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Scots_stalker View Post
    If you decide to pay up. Get it in writing that its a goodwill gesture , that you admit no liability , and its a full and final payment

    hi,

    never admit anything, never agree that your compensating them for the loss, most certainly get a signed waiver form stating that above as quoted.

    i dont think that absolute proof is needed, i am sure they had the pets for many years as too, have you had yours. For yours to go missing and theirs to get killed would seem very coincidental.

    HAPPY NEIGHBOURS MEANS A HAPPY STREET oh and also they will make your life a nightmare if you dont appease the issue.

    good luck

    p,

  8. #8
    Easy way out of it.......'cant believe whatever ate your pets ate my pole cat too....it was my best mate and now its gone .....I just wish that reserve would control those pesky fox. .......at the end of the day....who said your pet did anything???

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by chickenman View Post
    Easy way out of it.......'cant believe whatever ate your pets ate my pole cat too....it was my best mate and now its gone .....I just wish that reserve would control those pesky fox. .......at the end of the day....who said your pet did anything???
    boy makes a valid point

  10. #10
    If you have the neck you could complain to the reserve and offer your services to 'control' the problem in your area

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