Member for Baulkham Hills David Elliott today welcomed the Liberals & Nationals Government’s overhaul of the way companion animals are managed in NSW, including creating a new category of “menacing dogs’’, to better protect the community.
The new rules will allow councils to require owners of menacing dogs to muzzle their dogs in public, have them on a leash, under the control of a person over 18 years old, and ensure they are de-sexed.
The new law is part of a package of measures announced by Local Government Minister Don Page and Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson to respond to the Companion Animals and Dangerous Dogs Taskforce and to concerns about dangerous and threatening dogs in the NSW community.
“Dog attacks are always terrifying and these new laws will help get dangerous dogs off the streets of Baulkham Hills and educate owners about the importance of keeping their dogs under control,’’ Mr Elliott said.
“Owners who ignore these rules, who fail to restrict their dogs could face serious jail time.
“There are a lot of dogs out there that are dangerous that under the old rules could not be classified as dangerous – this new rule will mean that the community can be protected from dogs that are a threat, no matter what breed they are.’’
Mr Page said: “The Liberals & Nationals Government has listened to community concerns about the threat of dangerous dogs and we are acting to implement tougher dog controls and to enforce stronger penalties on the owners of dogs that exhibit aggressive behaviour.’’
‘’As well, the Government is implementing stronger fines of up to $77,000 and jail terms of up to five years for owners whose dogs have been involved in serious attacks, and providing councils with more options to deal with these dogs and their owners.
“While dogs are an important part of our lives, it is important to remember that community safety is paramount.
“And while there is no substitute for constant vigilance – particularly where young children are concerned – I believe these changes will significantly boost community safety.’’
Ms Hodgkinson said: “The Government intends to introduce legislation into the spring session of Parliament to implement these and other measures so that we can better protect the NSW community.’’
Taskforce chairman Andrew Cornwell said he was pleased the Government had acted so quickly to boost community safety.