Queenslanders are being asked for input on measures designed to crack down on owners of dangerous dogs.
A discussion paper released by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries on Sunday proposes jail time for serious attacks and bans on restricted dog breeds.
The Strong Dog Laws: Safer Communities paper proposes an offence that includes imprisonment for the most serious dog attacks. Currently, the maximum penalty is a fine of 300 penalty units ($43,125) if the attack causes death or grievous bodily harm. This change would bring Queensland into line with all Australian states.
Under the proposals, Queensland would become the first state to completely ban the breeds:
- Dogo Argentino
- Fila Brasiliero
- Japanese Tosa
- American pit bull or pit bull terrier
- Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario
Current licence holders would be exempt and not have surrender their dogs, but further licences for these breeds would no longer be issued.
Other proposed measures include:
- Developing and implementing a comprehensive community education program
- Requiring all dogs to be effectively controlled in public places
- Reviewing penalties for owners of regulated dogs
- Clarifying when a destruction order must be made for a regulated dog
- Streamlining the external review process for regulated dogs to reduce long delays.
After a series of attacks on children in April, Agricultural and Fisheries Minister Mark Furner reconvened the State Government’s Animal Management Taskforce to consider changes to legislation to protect the Queensland community.
The taskforce is made up of council representatives from across Queensland, the Local Government Association of Queensland, the RSPCA and senior government officers. It was formed in late 2021 to undertake a targeted review of the Animal Management (Cats & Dogs) Act 2008 in response to an increase in incidents of serious dog attacks across Queensland.
Local Government Association of Queensland chief executive officer Alison Smith said irresponsible dog owners had been able to hold councils and communities “to ransom” for too long.
“Ratepayers would be alarmed to know that Queensland councils are being forced to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees because irresponsible owners are using the courts to drag out the fate of these dangerous animals after their dog has been impounded and a destruction order made,” Ms Smith said.
Consultation closes on 24 August. To view the paper, complete a survey or make a submission, visit https://daf.engagementhub.com.au/dog-laws.