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New Menacing Dog Laws

Monday, October 21, 2013

Member for the Dubbo electorate, Troy Grant has welcomed the NSW Governments announcement on amendments to the Companion Animals Act would be introduced to create a new category of “menacing dog’’ to help safeguard the community.

“This is great news for the community ensuring everyone’s safety around menacing dogs. We see too many incidents where a person and some cases a young child are attacked and these new laws will help further protect people,” Mr Grant said.

Local Government Minister Don Page and Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson set up the Companion Animals and Dangerous Dogs Taskforce to examine regulatory options available to reduce the number of serious dog attacks.

In addition to creating a new category of ‘menacing or potentially dangerous dog’ the legislation includes harsher penalties including prison terms for irresponsible owners and encourages owners to de-sex their animals.

This new category will allow councils to be more proactive in dealing with aggressive or menacing dogs that have not yet attached or been classified as a dangerous dog. A dog defined as menacing will have to be muzzled and under the control of an adult when in public.

Under the new rules there will be increased penalty notice amounts and court penalties for failure to register a companion animal and where a dog has been involved in an attack.

“Failure to register a companion animal, no matter where it is kept will increase from $165 to $275. And if the matter goes to court, a fine up to $6600 can be imposed,” Mr Page said.

“Our message is clear – if you own an animal, you need to be a responsible owner and take the proper precautions appropriate for the animal,’’ Ms Hodgkinson said.

“Further to the increased penalties, the NSW Government will expand the existing pet education program to pre-school children and families expecting a child to raise awareness on how to act and be safe around dogs, and importantly prevent attacks.’’



Monday, June 04, 2012

The Member for Dubbo Troy Grant has today joined Don Page, Minister for Local Government, Katrina Hodgkinson, Minister for Primary Industries, Tim Vasudeva, CEO of the Animal Welfare League and Andrew Cornwell, Chair of the Companion Animals Taskforce for a Companion Animals Awareness Day in the Parliamentary Garden in Sydney.

The Companion Animals awareness day was organized by Mr Page to discuss the release of the NSW Government’s Companion Animals Taskforce Discussion Paper. The Paper is seeking community input on future pet policies in NSW, including ways to reduce the number of cats and dogs being euthanased in pounds.

 “The Discussion Paper is inviting the public to examine its initial proposals to promote responsible pet ownership, improve pet breeding practices in the community, and ultimately lead to fewer unwanted pets," Mr Grant said.

“The NSW Government’s Companion Animals Taskforce represents the government’s commitment to focus on poor pet breeding practices.

“These include `puppy farms’, increasing micro-chipping, de-sexing and lifetime registration of pets, and generally to crack down on poor pet industry practices.

“We want to reduce the number of unwanted animals and lower euthanasia rates in NSW council pounds.

“Recent figures show that in the last five years, 150,000 dogs and cats were euthanased in NSW pounds. Of the animals that arrive at pounds each year, about 33 per cent of dogs and nearly 70 per cent of cats are euthanased – about 15,000 dogs and 15,000 cats a year.

 “The Taskforce has brought together leading animal welfare experts, local government representatives, and is chaired by Charlestown MP Andrew Cornwell, who was a veterinary surgeon before entering politics.

“Mr Cornwell and the Taskforce member stakeholders are people who care deeply for pets and are well placed to inform the government on breeding, pet care and other pet-related issues.

“Their Discussion Paper should invite healthy dialogue on matters pertaining to pet welfare moving forward.”

Some of the key issues in the discussion paper include:

  • Regulation of breeders
  • Advertising and sale of cats and dogs
  • Microchipping, registration and desexing
  • The role of education
  • Impounding of cats and dogs

The discussion paper is available for download from the Division of Local Government website at: Submissions close on 1 July 2012.


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