Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Lifestyle

Home loans made clear

Is Canberra a nanny state for dogs… or just people?

By Steven Bailey 24 December 2014 32

bruce-dog

Bruce is my best mate; we’ve been through a lot together. Bruce has been there by my side through thick and thin. She enjoys the same music as I do, and she is generally a model of honesty, rectitude, and loyalty. She was there for me through my darkest and finest hours of the 2013 federal election. I suppose you could say that she is a political animal.

Bruce is my dog – a cross between a labrador and a border collie. And yes, Bruce is a female… it’s a long story, and I won’t go into it now, but she doesn’t seem to mind so I don’t think it should bother anybody else. She is well-known by the shopkeepers and community of Hackett – sometimes probably better than me! She accompanies me to many social and professional engagements.

She sits on ABC666’s Genevieve Jacobs’ feet if I happen to be giving an interview and she also enjoys the company of 2CC’s Mark Parton. She will wait dutifully outside of the shops while I do my shopping, she never barks unnecessarily, and children enjoy patting her.

I’ve trained my dog well. She was part of an unwanted litter from a farm in Cooma, and if I didn’t buy her, in the farmer’s words, ‘she would have got the bullet.

I break the law nearly every day.

In most circumstances Bruce doesn’t need to be restrained because I have complete control of her all of the time. She will stop before crossing the road, and will look up at me waiting for the command… ‘Cross!’ She won’t run up to other animals unless I allow her to, and she has never shown any aggression to a person and never will.

In the ACT it’s illegal for you to leave your dog outside of the shops. In the ACT it’s illegal for you to walk with your dog without a leash. In the ACT it’s illegal not to have your dog registered. And in the ACT it’s illegal not to have a microchip stuck into your dog’s neck. The list goes on forever.

I understand that there are reasons behind such legislation. In fact, I think there are some good reasons behind the Mount Everest of legislation regarding the ownership of a dog. But is it really necessary to impose legal penalty upon people who for instance let their dogs run around in a park unrestrained in a ‘non-designated off leash area’?

I grew up in the country, and I suppose I’m a little nostalgic for a time when the dog was on the back of the truck, the truck would pull up wherever, and the dog would happily jump off and stay by its master’s side.

Canberra’s lawmakers need to understand that you can’t legislate a perfect world into sterility, and that it is imperfection that creates a cultured, creative and free citizenry.

What do you think?

What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
32 Responses to
Is Canberra a nanny state for dogs… or just people?
Filter
Showing only Website comments
Order
Newest to Oldest
Oldest to Newst
milkman 6:19 pm 09 Mar 15

Masquara said :

Steven, as a smalltime-capitalist-sex-industry advocate, which if any controls over the sex industry do you regard as “nanny state”? 18-year-old age requirement? Condom use? I’d argue that 18 is probably too young and exploitable to make a decision around whether to participate in sex work, regardless of other areas of life where it’s a coming of age. Or do you endorse having strict regulations and oversight around sex industry activities?

Yeah what’s with the ‘no threesomes’ rule?

london 2:59 pm 09 Mar 15

Why do people living in ACT believe their dogs have more rights than people. Unleashed dogs in public streets, allowing their dog to defecate on footpaths, other people’s gardens and driveways and just walking away as if it’s normal behaviour. What is wrong with you that you don’t see this is disgusting to others. Also keeping large dogs fenced in small yards day after day while at work. All seems odd to me after moving here from NSW with councils in charge to inforce rules.

rosscoact 9:50 pm 03 Jan 15

Braggs said :

Maya123 said :

Braggs said :

This is the most over-regulated, politically correct jurisdiction in the country…not really much more I can say really. 🙂

But there is. You could give examples of regulations that we have and no other parts of the country have. Please do.

*yawn* plastic bags…

Other places in Australia have plastic bag prohibition

Braggs 3:36 pm 03 Jan 15

Maya123 said :

Braggs said :

This is the most over-regulated, politically correct jurisdiction in the country…not really much more I can say really. 🙂

But there is. You could give examples of regulations that we have and no other parts of the country have. Please do.

*yawn* plastic bags…

Steven Bailey 11:59 am 28 Dec 14

Maya123 said :

Living in the suburbs has improved since there were tighter dog laws. Years ago when I moved into a house in Narrabundah, regularly a mixed pack of medium and large dogs would romp down the street, coming from where I don’t know, fouling the front gardens and endangering residents. Most had no collars. I put up with them for about eleven months before I finally rang the dog catcher and they were taken care of. While those dogs roamed the neighbourhood it wasn’t safe to be in the front yard, and regularly, after cleaning up my lawn the night before, I would go out and find that every dog had again fouled it.
I worked with someone who used to happily say how he let his dog roam. His attitude, no harm in that. I said his dogs were no doubt pooing on people’s lawns and the like, but he dismissed that as unimportant. But little did I know it was far worse than that. His roaming dog, (which the owner dismissed any negative comments about allowing this), in the company of another dog, was shot while attacking sheep belonging to the CSIRO. The owner of the other dog was located, because it had a collar, but this owner got away with it, because his dog didn’t. Microchipping would not have allowed him to get away.
And if you love a dog surely you want it back, if it gets lost, like my neighbours senile dog, that got picked up by the pound several suburbs away.

I totally agree Maya that dogs shouldn’t be allowed to roam freely without the control and care of their owners.

Masquara 10:50 am 28 Dec 14

Steven, as a smalltime-capitalist-sex-industry advocate, which if any controls over the sex industry do you regard as “nanny state”? 18-year-old age requirement? Condom use? I’d argue that 18 is probably too young and exploitable to make a decision around whether to participate in sex work, regardless of other areas of life where it’s a coming of age. Or do you endorse having strict regulations and oversight around sex industry activities?

Aeek 11:54 pm 27 Dec 14

Too many people shouldn’t have leashes either, two with the nylon extenders really stand out.

A woman used to walk the path past The (horse) Farm with her small dog at full extension and the leash tied around her waist. She even let the dog cross the T intersection next to the tunnel. Lethal potential.

A man on a beachside shared path (ok, not canberra) let his small dog wrap the cord around my leg. Then he said sorry! Afterwards I realised the nylon had cut my skin drawing blood.

wildturkeycanoe 5:44 pm 27 Dec 14

Queen_of_the_Bun said :

I used to have a rescue dog who had been terribly abused for her first five years and as a result was a total fear biter. Unfortunately, she was also a big strong powerful ridgeback. We did classes at the RSPCA and managed her socialisation with other people and animals very carefully – walking her at times when we were least likely to run into other dogs and in places where other dogs should have been on a leash. We also got a companion puppy (another rescue dog) for her to dominate/play with and they became best friends.

However, I cannot tell you the number of idiot dog owners who would let their unleashed dogs run straight up to us. They’d say “don’t worry, he/she’s friendly” and I would say “Sorry, she’s not”. Most times we managed okay – however, twice my dog attacked the unleashed dog, leading to blood and vet bills for both dogs which I paid, despite the other dog’s owner breaking the law by not controlling their dog on a leash.

My previous dogs had always been happy friendly animals that could walk off the leash without fear they might attack someone. The companion puppy was the same happy personality.

But after taking responsibility for a dog that was aggressive because of the abuse she suffered at human hands, I understood what a d$ckhead I had been for walking those other dogs off-leash and letting them run unsupervised up to other dogs/people.

I no longer pat dogs that are tied up outside shops because I now understand that not all dogs are happy to be approached by strangers and I would rather not stress their owners out by getting bitten. So while you might think Bruce is not a threat walking unleashed, spare a thought for other dog owners and people who have different experiences.

I had the same issue recently when another dog owner let their dog wander up to us declaring “Don’t worry, she’s harmless.”, to which all I could say was “Yeah, but ours might not be.”. My son kept our furball back on the leash but this other furball wanted to play. I was a little worried for the other dog but it all passed uneventfully.

Maya123 4:35 pm 27 Dec 14

Living in the suburbs has improved since there were tighter dog laws. Years ago when I moved into a house in Narrabundah, regularly a mixed pack of medium and large dogs would romp down the street, coming from where I don’t know, fouling the front gardens and endangering residents. Most had no collars. I put up with them for about eleven months before I finally rang the dog catcher and they were taken care of. While those dogs roamed the neighbourhood it wasn’t safe to be in the front yard, and regularly, after cleaning up my lawn the night before, I would go out and find that every dog had again fouled it.
I worked with someone who used to happily say how he let his dog roam. His attitude, no harm in that. I said his dogs were no doubt pooing on people’s lawns and the like, but he dismissed that as unimportant. But little did I know it was far worse than that. His roaming dog, (which the owner dismissed any negative comments about allowing this), in the company of another dog, was shot while attacking sheep belonging to the CSIRO. The owner of the other dog was located, because it had a collar, but this owner got away with it, because his dog didn’t. Microchipping would not have allowed him to get away.
And if you love a dog surely you want it back, if it gets lost, like my neighbours senile dog, that got picked up by the pound several suburbs away.

Steven Bailey 4:04 pm 27 Dec 14

I understand that the term ‘nanny state’ can become a bit tiring sometimes, and I’m not really someone who likes slogans at all. I wrote this story just as a friendly example of one of many examples where the ACT has made unnecessary laws and regulations. Unnecessary laws and regulations are costly, petty, and often unfair. The accumulation of unnecessary laws affects all of us, and demonstrates a lack of vision and purpose in our elected members.

Steven Bailey 3:36 pm 27 Dec 14

gazket said :

“ACT it’s illegal not to have a microchip stuck into your dog’s neck”

Not quite right there buddy

microchips are only for dogs born on or after 2011. 2008 if your dog is declared dangerous.

No sorry mate, ‘all dogs in the ACT must be microchipped’, as stated on the TAMS website.

gazket 11:13 am 27 Dec 14

dkNigs said :

The difference is people in the country, even idiots, seem to train their kids and spend a lot more time with them. People in the city, no matter how smart, seem to happily ignore their kids 90% of their week or more, and then let their untrained kids do whatever they want with zero control over them.

fixed that for you .

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2018 Region Group Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
the-riotact.com | aboutregional.com.au | b2bmagazine.com.au | thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site