7 September 2018

Canberra Liberals on the offensive to stop alarming number of dog attacks

| Lachlan Roberts
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Left to right: Member for Kurrajong Candice Burch, Member for Ginninderra Elizabeth Kikkert, Member for Yerrabi James Milligan, Member for Kurrajong Elizabeth Lee and Member for Brindabella Nicole Lawder.

Amid the skyrocketing number of dog attacks in the nation’s capital, the Canberra Liberal party is calling on Canberrans to have their say in making their city safer.

Domestic Animal Services (DAS) rangers have responded to a staggering 218 dog attacks between January and June this year, with 66 incidents involving an attack on a person, 124 attacks on animals and 28 involving both a human and an animal. 80 dogs were also seized in the same period.

Earlier this year, eight attacks were reported to Domestic Animal Services in one May weekend, with four of those attacks taking place inside a dog park.

Canberra Liberals said that on average there is one dog attack in Canberra every two days, many of which have resulted in serious injury or death of a person or domestic animal and believe more needs to be done to prevent attacks taking place.

The party is hosting several pop-up events on Saturday (8 September) across the city to discuss the issue and are calling on locals who are concerned about dog attacks in their community to join the conversation.

Member for Brindabella Nicole Lawder said they are interested in having a collaborative approach in order to respond better to dangerous dog attacks.

“We want Canberrans to have an opportunity to share their thoughts about dog attacks, to know that what they say matters and can help to make our laws better,” Ms Lawder said.

“Most people are shocked to learn how little is done when a dog injures or kills a person or domestic animal. A number of these people have contacted the Canberra Liberals to voice their concern about dog attacks, worried that the government is not listening to them.

“They feel that the current laws fail to deal with dog attacks adequately. They think we need better laws to protect the community from dog attacks, and so do we.”

In December 2017, the ACT Government introduced new legislation to help protect the community from dangerous dogs and to hold irresponsible dog owners accountable.

The legislation targeted dog owners who act irresponsibly by imposing greater fines and penalties, greater seizure and informant powers, and more effective provisions to reduce illegal breeding and increase compliance with mandatory de-sexing.

Amendments introduced in March would mean anyone handling a dog was responsible for its behaviour, not just its registered owners.

Head down to the following locations to share your thoughts about dog attacks in the ACT or have your say here.

  • Yarralumla Dog Park 8 am – 10 am
  • Cooleman Court 10 am – 12 pm
  • Kippax Shops 11 am – 12:30 pm
  • Mimi’s Pit Stop, Tuggeranong 11 am – 1 pm
  • Forde Dog Park 12 pm – 2 pm

All dog attack complaints should be reported to DAS via Access Canberra on 13 22 81. If an attack is in progress, the community is urged to contact ACT Policing on Emergency Triple Zero (000).

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petunia petal5:30 pm 09 Sep 18

curious what the breakdown of these attacks are… which areas, which types of dogs, what types of owners, socioeconomic aspects to it etc. There is no point coming up with answers if we don’t know the nature of the attacks. Whats the point of harsher penalties if they can be ignored or fines avoided (i.e. same ppl who don’t pay traffic fines, drive unregistered or unlicensed). An aggressive dog is often due to a negligent, uncaring, irresponsible owner. If you actually ban these people from owning dogs (and hit them where it hurts) I suspect dog attack will go down.

Why are the Murrumbidgee Liberals absent from this picture? Just asking?

Capital Retro1:20 pm 08 Sep 18

Why do the Seselja haters bash him on a thread about an ACT government problem (that’s ACT LABOR/GREENS) that has nothing to do with him?

It’s getting a bit boring.

The claim is that dog attacks have skyrocketed. Numbers are provided for this year, but no comparison has been made to previous years. A competent propagandist would have picked some time in the last five years that had the fewest dog attacks to emphasise the skyrocketing growth in dog attacks.

Even if the numbers have grown from seasonally relevant numbers last year or from a five year maximum due to more people walking their dogs or more people owning dogs, you can hide the cause and focus on the numbers.

But no. The Canberra liberals are running the campaign on one number.

Do you even debate, bro?

PS: Some numbers for you

2012–2013 85 attacks investigated
2013–2014 93 attacks investigated
2014–2015 245 attacks investigated
2015–2016 360 attacks investigated
2016–2017 389 attacks investigated

(Han Nguyen & Emily Baker, The Canberra Times 11 December 2017)

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