Central Western Daily; BY LUKE SCHUYLER; 16 Jun, 2012
STRICTER dog laws will come into force in NSW later this year, according to Companion Animals Taskforce chair Andrew Cornwell.He said 20 dog attacks in Orange last year was far too high and the taskforce would look at options to reduce the number.
“Any dog attack is one dog attack too many,” he said.
“We’re working on dangerous dog laws over the next few months.
“We’ll come up with more recommendations we think will help bring down this number. They may include things like microchipping, breeding regulations or tougher registration and pet ownership laws.
“Something has to be done.”
Mr Cornwell said education was the key to better results.
“The most important thing is education, unquestionably. We want to make it easier to be a responsible dog owner and that will cut these attacks down,” he said.
“The vast majority of people are great pet owners. Unfortunately, some people don’t do the right thing by their pets and by the community. These are the people we want to target and help educate.”
Mr Cornwell was in Orange yesterday to discuss the NSW government’s Companion Animals Taskforce discussion paper.
The hot topic was the number of animals euthanased in the central west and what could be done to restrict this growing number.
On average, more than 4000 animals are impounded in the central west each year, and less than 10 per cent are identified.
Nearly 70 per cent are euthanased.
“Each year there are 20,000 dogs and 30,000 cats euthanased in Australia,” Mr Cornwell said.
“That number is far too high. We want to substantially drive down those rates because they’re unacceptable.”
He said it was vital the Orange community had their say.
People can view the discussion paper from the Division of Local Government website http://www.dlg.nsw.gov.au/cataskforce.
“People’s attitude towards their pets has improved a lot in the past 20 years, but we still have a way to go,” Mr Cornwell said.
“We want people’s feedback, Australia has the highest number of pet ownership in the world and all submissions will be looked at.”
Submissions close on July 1, 2012.