[that he did] keep and allow to go at large, without being under any appropriate care, restraint or control, a puma belonging to (him) or under (his) charge, or in (his) possession, while members of the public were in said public house, and said puma attacked and injured (X and Y) and did recklessly disregard the lives and safety of the public.
The puma in question was apparently normally kept in a cage in the lounge bar (not the public bar). It had apparently at some point been released from its cage by the landlord and had attacked two persons who, according the report, "had previously been asked to leave the premises". The Sheriff convicted the accused of the charge, apparently on the grounds that a puma might be distinguished from domesticated animals kept as pets because it had the
"instincts and unpredictable impulses of a wild animal, rather than a domestic dog, in which ferocity may be a manifestation of its propensity to protect its master's person, property or territory"Moreover, the fact that the accused had released the puma was evidence of a recklessness towards the safety of others (!).
It would be nice to report that the cases led to the refinement of some legal principle, but unfortunately that is not the case. The landlord appealed against the conviction but, for reasons which have not been recorded, the appeal was dismissed.
|An Italian restaurant on the site |
of the original Fairley's