Gorris (plaintiff) hired Scott (defendant) to transport a number of his sheep by boat. During a storm, the sheep were washed overboard. Gorris brought suit against Scott to recover damages for the loss of the sheep and loss due to Scott’s alleged neglect with a certain order made by the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Act. The purpose of the Act was to prevent the spread of infectious disease from being communicated from animal to animal. The Act required any ship bringing sheep or cattle from any foreign port to have the animals confined and divided into holding pens of certain dimensions.