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Present: Garvin J.
MENDIS t?. HUNUCUMBURA
878—P. C. Kurunegala, 3,599.
Vruelty to animal—Shooting a trespassing cow—Unnecessary pain—Ordinance No. 13 of 1907, s. 4 (1) (b).
Where a person shot at a trespassing cow and injured it,—
Held that he was guilty of causing unnecessary pain to an animatwithin the meaning of section 4 fl) (6) of the Ordinance for thePrevention of Cruelty to Animals.
PPEAL from a conviction by the Police Magistrate ofKurunegala.
H. V. Perera, for accused, appellant.
February 24, 1928. Garvin J.—
The facts material to the decision of the point raised by thisappeal are simple and well ascertained. The accused saw hisneighbour’s cow trespassing on his land. He might easily havedriven the animal away. Instead of doing so he fired a shot andinjured it in the knee. The animal made away and was later foundlying injured on its owner’s land. The defence, which the Magistratehas rejected, was a denial by the accused that he shot at the cow asalleged.
The accused was in those circumstances convicted under section4 (1) (6) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance, No. 13 of1907. The case cannot be brought under sub-section (1) (a) or (1) (c)of section 4. The only question is whether the Magistrate is correctin his view that the case falls within sub-section (1) (5), and that theaccused can be said to be a person who by his act caused unnecessarypain to this animal.
Counsel urged that though the accused by his act caused pain tothis animal it was not unnecessary pain within the meaning of thesection. He sought to exclude from the section all those acts bywhich pain is caused so long as no more pain was inflicted than wasnecessarily involved in the doing of the act. There undoubtedlyare acts as, for instance, the branding of cattle which though theycause pain, so long as they are done without inflicting needless pain,are not obnoxious to this section, since the pain involved in thedoing of the act is reasonably necessary for the purpose of identifica-tion or 60me other legitimate purpose. In such cases the paincaused by the act is not unnecessary pain and hence the acts arenot obnoxious to the section. But an act by which any pain at all
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is caused to an animal so long as it is needless pain is obnoxious tothe section. In this instance it was wholly unnecessary to shootthe animal for the purpose of compelling it to move off the accused'sland, and it is impossible to contend that the pain caused by thatact was reasonably necessary for that purpose. The accused has,therefore, by his act caused unnecessary pain to the animal incontravention of the provisions of sections 4 (1) (6).
The appeal is dismissed.
MENDIS v. HUNUCUMBURA