Administrative-criminal and criminal liability for animal-caused damage Cover Image
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Административно-наказателно и наказателна отговорност за вреди, причинени от животни
Administrative-criminal and criminal liability for animal-caused damage

Author(s): Teodora Georgieva
Subject(s): Law, Constitution, Jurisprudence
Published by: Институт за държавата и правото - Българска академия на науките

Summary/Abstract: Current Bulgarian legislation offers no legal provisions of body injury, when the injury has been caused by an animal. Dog bites, eg., no matter how serious, are referred to Penal Code texts which treat the causing of body injury simply and solely as negligence. A light body injury through negligence is not prosecuted through the usual channels; i.e. it is not within the competence of the Prosecutor’s Office, pursuant to Article 133 in relation to article 11, para. 4 of the Penal Code. A gap in Bulgarian law thus denies the state the power to take legal action against owners and/or supervisors of dogs in case of light body injury. Medium or severe body injury by negligence are likewise penalised rather leniently with up to one-year imprisonment. So, if a child’s face has been mauled, by a dog, the owner is punishable under the above provisions with up to one-year imprisonment or probation. If the owner has a clear criminal record, they must be fined instead (Art. 78 of the Penal Code). The Veterinary Medicine Activity Act stipulates that a dog’s owner who has not taken the relevant safety measures for their dog, will be fined BGN 50. The latter, however, does not necessarily imply that an injury has been caused. Current legislation evidently makes no differentiation between acts with and without damage in terms of legal consequences. Body inviolability offence is a crime involving public danger to a great extent. The French Penal Code, eg., explicitly provides that a body injury through dog bite, which leads to incapacity for work for over three months, may result in the sentencing of the owner to three-year’s imprisonment and a EUR 45 000 fine; when the act is preceded by administrative offence, the imprisonment may be extended to five years. If the dog bite causes death through gross negligence, the imprisonment may be as long as ten years. The maximum penalty imposed by Bulgarian legislation is up to three-year’s imprisonment. Urgent legislative changes are needed to in- criminate the behaviour of animal owners who have caused body injury or death.body of work and develop its own conceptual framework. As a result, its scientific import and practical applicability have met with wide acknowledgement and appreciation. Yet issues concerning the nature, object of study and methodology of Criminalistics are still the object of many scientific discussions and arguments. Due to this, Criminalistics has failed to develop a unified and coherent perspective with regard to those fundamental issues and has intrinsically split up into three main doctrinal camps i.e., a Germanic, an Anglo-Saxon and a Roman one, each treating the abovementioned issues in its own way. The paper argues that a partial integration of these perspectives combined with a facilitated permeability of knowledge across the three schools will, inevitably, enhance both the scientific potential and social significance of Criminalistics.

  • Issue Year: L/2009
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 92-83
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: Bulgarian