Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Mansuetae Naturae Definition:

Latin: animals which are now generally domestic, presumed gentle and readily tamed, such as dogs, cats, cows and horses.

Related Terms: Domitae Naturae, Ferae Naturae, Animal

Also known by the Latin term domitae naturae (animals which are naturally tame).

As William Blackstone wrote in Volume 2 of his 1769 Commentaries on the Laws of England, §391:

“With regard to animals, which have in themselves a principle and power of motion, and (unless particularly confined) can convey themselves from one part of the world to another, there is a great difference made with respect to their several classes, not only in our law, but in the law of nature and of all civilized nations. They are distinguished into such as are domitae (of a nature tame and domestic, as horses, sheep, poultry, and the like), and such as wild disposition.”

In 1954, P. Osborn wrote in his Concise Law Dictionary:

“The owner is not liable for the vicious acts of an animal of an ordinarily quiet nature unless he knew that it was vicious.

"If the damage done is not natural to species, proof is required that the owner knew of the mischievous tendency of the animal to make him liable; called proof of scienter.”

Some doctrine on the topic, especially American, spell the term without the final e as in mansuetae natura.


Categories & Topics:

Always looking up definitions? Save time with our search provider (modern browsers only)

If you find an error or omission in Duhaime's Law Dictionary, or if you have suggestion for a legal term, we'd love to hear from you!