Opposition to introduce bill to address dangerous dog issues

I have briefed the Parliamentary Drafting Office to prepare legislation that I can introduce into the Assembly that will seek to address the mounting issues surrounding dangerous dogs in the ACT, Shadow Minister for Urban Services Steve Doszpot said today.

“I’m seeking to have the Bill drafted to:

 Make it incumbent on owners of dogs to be responsible for them; including incurring penalties

 Make it much easier to penalise owners of dogs that attack people, pet dogs or pet cats

 Make it much clearer under what circumstances a dog must be seized

 Make it much clearer under what circumstances a dog must be destroyed

 Define and make much clearer the circumstances under which a dog is declared a “dangerous dog”

 Introduce much stricter conditions on holding a “dangerous dog” including significant additional fees

 Impose stricter penalties for when a “dangerous dog” is not held according to prescribed conditions including destruction of a dog

 Provide greater visibility of process for people who report dogs

 Require better record keeping by Domestic Animal Services

“The government has been unwilling to take any action on this issue, and I will bring forward legislation to encourage progress.

“There is mounting evidence that something needs to be done and I look forward to the government’s cooperation in mitigating the instances of dog attacks.

“I have been hearing a large number of personal stories which are heartbreaking and I encourage people who have been affected to speak out, to help this government recognise the significance of the problem that the community is facing,” Mr Doszpot concluded.