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

By Lachlan Roberts 7 September 2018 29

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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29 Responses to
Canberra Liberals on the offensive to stop alarming number of dog attacks
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John Hynes 7:55 pm 09 Sep 18

daughter was chased by a large dog on an oval. barr doesnt give a damn. seeing a family member distressed and threatened by a dog changes your perspective, those of you who havent experienced it.

petunia petal 5:30 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.

Michelle Fitzpatrick 3:32 pm 09 Sep 18

Just get the agency/ department that is responsible for enforcing the rules that are already in place, to actually enforce the rules.

Lots of revenue to be made, nabbing dog owners who don't follow the rules....even picking up after your dog carries $110 fine I think. Doubt anyone has ever when fined though!!

DAS needs more staff out there otherwise it is pointless.

bigred 10:46 pm 08 Sep 18

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

James Kozanecki 10:16 pm 08 Sep 18

When you don't have proper policy around anything else, fear campaigns always do the trick

Tony Crowe 9:58 pm 08 Sep 18

So many dogs not on leads at stromlo

Rufus De 7:46 pm 08 Sep 18

In a space of 1 month in the US, SIX people were killed by pit bulls, and you're telling me that breed does not matter?

What makes Pitbull's so dangerous are the people at defend them,and the lobby groups and the rescue groups!

Seon Ferguson 6:06 pm 08 Sep 18

It's about time someone wants to do something but what can we do?

Rowan Wade 3:47 pm 08 Sep 18

I’m far more concerned about the cost of living...

Simon Ruangsuk 3:45 pm 08 Sep 18

Belal Ahmed Braiden Chaleune thought I saw Xaoli xD

Capital Retro 1:20 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.

John Perkins 11:27 am 08 Sep 18

A campaign reminding dog owners that their dogs must be on a lead at all times, except in areas where it is a designated off leash area. A prohibition on walking more than one dog at a time is certainly worthy of consideration. Increase penalties substantially for dog owners who flout the dog regulations. $1000 on the spot fines would go a long way to reining in the irresponsible dog owners who so habitually inflict their dogs on others. Walking a dog should be a relaxing time, instead it becomes a time of having to be hyper-vigilant, just waiting for the next off leash, aggresive dog or dogs to appear, while their "space cadet" dogs owners eventually appear, irresponsible dog owners are in a world of their own.

    Coralee Rauber 12:27 pm 08 Sep 18

    I dont mind any one walking more than one dog at a time but there definitely should be consequences for those who dont have leash on their dogs.

    My son and i go for a walk and suddenly have random dogs sneak up on us and no owner to be seen for for many minutes and they happen to be 10+ metres away. I dont like walking my dogs due to other peoples dogs running up cause their dogs are off lead but my dogs are always on lead.

    John Perkins 12:33 pm 08 Sep 18

    You've nailed it Coralee.

    Coralee Rauber 1:44 pm 09 Sep 18

    John Perkins thanks.

    I recently had a husky looking dog sneak up on me and my son at a play ground our backs were turned and didnt hear it coming up until i tirned around. I dont mind if theyr extremly friendly but this one didnt seem too friendly. My son and i froze and looked around couldnt see owner for ages and then suddenly the owner appeared. I was not happy about that one.

    John Perkins 2:02 pm 09 Sep 18

    I've had a similar experience Coralee Rauber. There are so many dog owners out there who are not up to their responsibilities of owning a dog/s.

Ian Greed 9:55 am 08 Sep 18

Canberra Liberals ... Struggling to find relevance 🤢

Trish Roberts 9:25 am 08 Sep 18

I’m glad someone is taking this issue seriously.

Judith Barlow 11:06 pm 07 Sep 18

A prompt response to calls about threatening dogs would be a good start. More Rangers to provide the response would help.

Saji Titus 8:56 pm 07 Sep 18

Can you keep Selsja out of this please? Have lost all respect for that chap after his cheap bullying tactics on behalf of Dutton. Will never get my vote again.

    Tim Thornley 10:33 pm 07 Sep 18

    He also voted agaist restoring the ACT's rights to make our own choices as the states do. He does not represent Canberra. He is best kept out of everything.

Kathy Schneider 7:49 pm 07 Sep 18

How about allowing front fences?!

    Chele Forest 12:23 am 08 Sep 18

    Given the shrinking size of land, this is actually a good idea. I think more attacks because more people are out walking their dogs or dogs are escaping because their yards are too small to keep them stimulated enough to stay in there.

Mac John 7:35 pm 07 Sep 18

I am very concerned about one Canberra Liberal who has in my opinion acted against the National Interest by Supporting Mr Dutton and undermining the Then Prime Minister. Shame. Please put Senator Seselja last on the Ballot paper at the nest Senate Election.

Liam O'Toole 6:37 pm 07 Sep 18

Probably ban them like everything else Australians seem to get offended and scared about.

Alan James 6:13 pm 07 Sep 18

First I have seen from the Libs since the last election.

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