TOUGHER penalties for irresponsible dog owners have been introduced to Parliament after thousands of Queenslanders backed proposed changes to dangerous dog laws.
Penalties include up to $108,000 fines or up to three years’ jail for the owner of a dog that causes the death or seriously injures a person.
The changes come after a review of the Animal Management (Cats & Dogs) Act 2008 and recommendations of a taskforce.
More than 3650 Queenslanders completed a survey and more than 300 written submissions were received through a 60-day consultation process to assess public support for the reforms.
Under the revised laws, there will be:
- Increased penalties for the most serious dog attack offences, including imprisonment as an option;
- A ban on the restricted dog breeds of Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Japanese Tosa, American pit bull terrier or pit bull terrier, and the Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario;
- Development of a community education program; and
- Streamlining decisions and appeals on the future of seized dangerous animals.
The changes will be supported with a $7.5 million funding package, which will provide more coordinated, consistent and effective government action in response to dog attacks, and support dog management initiatives in remote communities.
The funding will also include a community education and awareness campaign rolled out over three years to build responsible dog ownership, prevent dog attacks, and reduce the risk of harm from dog attacks.
“Community safety is at the heart of these laws and continues to be the number one priority of the government,” said Minister for Agricultural Industry Development Mark Furner.
“Queenslanders told us that they wanted urgent action to toughen our dangerous dog laws.
“There needs to be a strong deterrent in place to prevent irresponsible behaviour that can put the community at risk.”