MAIMING, mutilation, a physical injury which involves the loss of, or incapacity to use, a bodily member. The verb " to maim," in M. E. maynhe, mahayme, mayme, etc. was adopted from O. Fr. mahaignier : cf. It. magagnars, Med. Lat. mahemiare, mahennare, etc. (see Du Cange, Gloss., s.v. " Mahamium "). Maiming or mutilation is and has been practised by many races with various ethnical and religious significances, and was a customary form of punishment on the principle of an " eye for an eye " (see MUTILATION). In law " maiming " is a criminal offence; the old law term for a special case of maiming of persons was " mayhem " (<?..), an Anglo-French variant form of the word. Maiming of animals by others than their owners is a particular form of the offences generally grouped as " malicious damage." For the purpose of the law as to this offence animals are divided into cattle, which includes horses, pigs and asses, and other animals which are either subjects of larceny at common law or are usually kept in confinement or for domestic purposes. The punishment for maiming of cattle is three to fourteen years' penal servitude. Malicious injury to other animals is a misdemeanour punishable on summary conviction. . For a second offence the penalty is imprisonment with hard labour for over twelve months. (Malicious Damage Act 1861.) Maiming of animals by their owner falls under the Cruelty to Animals Acts.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)