Dog owners could face prison time

Tougher new dangerous dog laws mean irresponsible owners of dogs that attack and cause serious injury or death can now face jail terms.

The legislation was passed through State Parliament yesterday after thousands of Queenslanders lodged formal submissions and completed surveys backing a tougher approach.

The changes will include:

  • Maximum fines for failure to take reasonable steps to ensure a dog does not attack to double to more than $92,000;
  • Maximum fines up to $108,000 and up to three years jail for the owner of a dog that kills or seriously injures a person; and
  • Bans on five dog breeds – Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Japanese Tosa, American pit bull terrier or pit bull terrier, and the Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario.

The changes come after a review of the Animal Management (Cats & Dogs) Act 2008 and recommendations of a taskforce including the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), participating local governments, the Local Government Association of Queensland and RSPCA Queensland.

The changes will be supported with a $7.57 million funding package, which will include a community education and awareness campaign rolled out over three years.

As well as updating the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act, the passage of the Agriculture and Fisheries and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (2023) also:

  • Introduced the framework to implement onboard monitoring in the commercial fishing sector;
  • Enabled greater cross-checking between the Queensland Fisheries authorities and other agencies;
  • Adjusted laws on industrial cannabis to enable licensed growers to supply plant material and seeds to licenced testers for agronomic and seed testing analysis;
  • Will support a growing aquaculture industry through the creation of a new aquaculture authority;
  • Broadened the offence of obstructing an authorised fisheries officer from carrying out their roles to include abusive and intimidatory behaviour; and
  • Extended the maximum time a Biosecurity Emergency Order can be in place to 42 days (up from 21).
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