ACT Dangerous Dog Legislation

03 Dec 2017
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Recently the AVA ACT Division’s Executive Officer and Dr. Michael Hayward meet with Alistair Coe’s Chief of Staff and members of the Transport Canberra and City Services as well as the City Services Minister Fitzharris’ Chief of Staff to discuss changes to the dangerous dog legislation.

The Minister’s office confirmed that they would be supporting the proposal with some additional amendments. Mr. Coe’s office tabled the proposal in parliament last week and this was passed with some additional amendments.

The legislation was changed partially in response to the fatal dog attack to Ms. Klemeke in October. 

ACT Government officials will now, under these new laws, be able to make a decision to euthanise a dog before it attacks if the animal poses an unacceptable risk to the public and if it cannot be rehabilitated.  Other changes made were that a dog must be euthanised if it kills or seriously injures a person, except in special circumstances. 

There will also be a significant increase to the dangerous dog licence fee, and bans on ownership of dangerous dogs if the government felt that a person was “irresponsible”. 

Carers or owners of an attacking dog will also be required to exchange details with a victim or face significant penalties under these new laws. 

The division was pleased to see that the new laws did not target specific breeds. Mr. Coe did not support all of the amendments to the law but was pleased to see the bill passed.  This bill was originally drafted by Stephen Doszpot who unfortunately passed away before seeing the finalisation of the legislation.”