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Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Pound

POUND, an enclosure in which cattle or other animals found straying are retained until they are redeemed by the owners, or when taken in distraint until replevined, such retention being in the nature of a pledge or security to compel the performance of satisfaction for debt or damage done. A pound belongs to the township or village and should be kept in repair by the parish. The pound-keeper is obliged to receive everything offered to his custody and is not answerable if the thing offered be illegally impounded. By the statute 1 and 2 Phil. and Mary c. 12 (1554), no distress of cattle can be driven out of the hundred where taken unless to a pound within 3 miles of the place of seizure. Where cattle are impounded the impounder is bound to supply them with sufficient food and water (12 and 13 Vict. c. 92, and 17 and 18 Vict. c. 60); any person, moreover, is authorized to enter a place where animals are impounded without food and water more than twelve hours and supply them without being liable to an action for such entry, and the cost of such food is to be paid by the owner of the animal before it is removed. The statute 2 Will. and Mary, sess. 1 c. 5 (1690), gives treble damages and costs against persons guilty of pound breach; and by 6 and 7 Vict. c. 30 (1843) persons releasing or attempting to release cattle impounded or damaging any pound are liable to a fine not exceeding £5, awardable to the person on whose behalf the cattle were distrained, with imprisonment with hard labour not exceeding three months in default. In the old law books a distinction is drawn between a common pound, an open pound, and a close pound; these terms have now, however, lost much of, if not all, their significance. By statute 11 Geo. II. c. 19 (1738), which was passed for the benefit of landlords, any person distraining for rent may turn any part of the premises upon which a distress is taken into a pound pro hac vice for securing of such distress.