Contemporary Issues in Law - Volume 14 - Issue 3
HORSES IN CULTURE, SOCIETY AND THE LAW
EDITORS - INTRODUCTION
Sarah Sargent University of Buckingham
Jonathan Merritt De Montfort University
BEFORE AND AFTER MIRVAHEDY v HENLEY: THE HISTORY, CONTROVERSY AND PRACTICE OF STRICT LIABILITY REGARDING DAMAGE BY HORSES
Carrie de Silva Principal Lecturer in Law and Taxation, Harper Adams University
The twenty-first century has seen considerable court activity on the interpretation of legislation passed some decades ago, the Animals Act 1971, ascribing strict liability in certain circumstances for death or personal injury involving equines (and other animals), with most disputes centering on section 2(2). Although there had been a number of important cases before, Mirvahedy v Henley in the House of Lords in 2003 gave rise to particular concerns. Since then, the body of case law has quelled much of the uncertainly and the appetite for statutory amendment has died down, but the jurisprudence of strict (although not, of course, absolute) liability remains controversial in some quarters. This paper encompasses a wider consideration of strict liability with an exploration of the historical development of the law in this area, from biblical references, the common law of scienter and the introduction, and application, of the 1971 Act, along with other potentially applicable law.
The paper considers the comparative position across the United States where, state by state, there are a range of 'equine liability', 'equine activity' and 'recreational use' statutes which, in some cases, give more weight to the position offered in the section 5(2) defence under the Animals Act 1971, namely that the claimant voluntarily accepted the risk. Whilst there has been considerable literature on the Animals Act (which this paper will seek to draw together), it is hoped that the particular consideration of the philosophy behind strict liability and the extended comparative study of the United States will provide a novel and useful extension to the subject.
'ATTACK OF THE CLONES': PROBLEMATISING EQUINE SPORTS INTEGRITY REGULATION ON THE ASCENDANCY OF THE GENETICALLY COPIED ATHLETE
Jonathan Merritt Senior Lecturer in Sports Law and Law School Deputy Head of Research, De Montfort University
Cloned horses are already here and competing; this article considers in turn both the challenges and the unprecedented opportunities for the development of human athlete regulation that the current participation of cloned equines in elite sport presents.
The arrival of the cloned human athlete has hitherto been considered as a future 'spectre' beset with potential sports ethics dilemmas. This article argues, however, that the Kuhnian state of crisis that sports integrity will be thrown into by the advent of the human clone will bring about a paradigm shift of epic proportions. There is, however, the opportunity to learn from the regulatory mistakes of the past and shape the guidelines for human clones by regulating their equine counterparts effectively now. The current hegemony is that integrity regulation for one species, man, can be applied to another, horses, with little substantive amendment and be effective. The first sport of any kind to incorporate anti-doping measures into its rules was thoroughbred racing. In the early 1900s racehorses were subject to dope tests because of fears that they were being given cocaine. Human athlete sports followed suit and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code is the ultimate development of that thinking. Examples cited are the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) regulations and to a different degree the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) rules developed independently from WADA.
None of this has resulted in a satisfactory situation as this paper will demonstrate. The better results are achieved by careful species-specific drafting well in advance of technological change, not struggling to keep up with innovation.
ESTABLISHMENT AND DOWNFALL OF A HORSE-BASED CLUSTER INITIATIVE IN NORTHWEST ICELAND
Ingibjorg Sigurdardottir Assistant Professor, Holar University College, Iceland
Ronolfur Smari Steinthorsson Professor, University of Iceland
Discussion of research from a wide range of disciplines is of paramount importance in relation to socio-legal research. This paper provides an analysis of research related to the horse industry in Iceland, a country with an ancient and deeply embedded horse culture and a large number of equines and horse-owning people. Interest in the cluster approach has been increasing in Iceland in the last few years, particularly following the financial crisis in 2008. On a regional basis the cluster development has been supported through Regional Growth Agreement (RGA) funds that have been available for suitable local projects. In the RGA for the Northwest of Iceland, there was emphasis on cluster development within existing industries, including the horse industry.
A group of 23 operators of horse-related businesses did in 2009 establish a joint effort named 'Hyruspor', which was successful in getting RGA grants to start a formal collaboration, which can be seen as a cluster initiative. But the effort was short-lived and did not reach its goals to strengthen the horse industry and the horse-related activities in the region. In this research the inquiry aims to reveal what factors can explain the downfall of effort 'Hyruspor'? Secondary material was reviewed and open-ended interviews with seven founders of the effort were conducted. Findings indicate that one of the main motivations for the establishment of the initiative was the possibility of getting RGA funds. The leading founders were interested in the project but the commitment of partners was fragile and therefore it is questionable whether the joint effort can be regarded as a cluster initiative. The common conditions and basis for the effort were thin and important resources were lacking, including support from leading members, which restricted further development. Vested interests led to disunity within the group. The project did not deliver an expected quick gain and fell short in providing the leadership and facilitation that was needed.