Humane laws to reward responsible dog ownership and make dangerous dog owners more accountable will be debated in the Assembly today, Shadow Minister for Urban Services Nicole Lawder said.
“Dog attacks is an ongoing problem across our City. I continue to hear reports from traumatised pet owners who have witnessed their beloved pets get mauled, and sometimes killed,” Ms Lawder said.
“I have always said that violent dog attacks is both a public safety and an animal welfare issue.
“By overlooking the emotional and physical trauma caused by dog attacks, City Services Minister Chris Steel is turning a blind eye to animal cruelty and human suffering.
“Mr Steel has indicated his government will introduce an annual tax for all dog owners in response to dog attacks. This is an inhumane way to deal with a traumatising issue.
“Most Canberrans are responsible dog owners who love their pets, sometimes like family. Responsible dog owners should be rewarded, not hit with an annual dog tax.
“I hope that since I first introduced these laws, the Labor Party and the Greens have come to view violent dog attacks as a pressing issue requiring urgent action.
“I look forward to bringing the Canberra Liberals’ responsible dog ownership laws forward for debate,” Ms Lawder concluded.
In November 2018, Ms Lawder tabled amendments to the Domestic Animals Act 2000.
The amendments propose to:
Waive the dog registration fee if owners and their dogs successfully complete approved dog training;
Double the dangerous dog license fee from $750 per year to $1,500 per year; and
Remove financial barriers for people who no longer want to own a dangerous dog. Currently, dangerous dog owners have to pay $60.70 to surrender a vicious dog.