SMH, Henrietta Cook, Aug 12 2012
Banned … the American Pit Bull Terrier. Photo: Danie Sprague
MORE dogs would be declared ”potentially dangerous” and pets would be subjected to ”temperament testing” as part of tough new proposals to reduce dog attacks.
The Australian Veterinary Association’s proposal would also force the police, doctors and councils to report dog bites to a national database.
In its report Dangerous Dogs – a Sensible Solution, to be sent to state and territory governments, the association calls for ”temperament testing” of dogs to help owners choose suitable pets and to guide breeders to improve the temperament of puppies.
Any dog from a chihuahua to a pit bull-cross could be classified potentially dangerous if it ”ran at large” and was impounded more than twice in one year.
Dogs that inflicted a single bite wound after being provoked would be deemed potentially dangerous and have to wear a warning collar and enrol in a behaviour program.
An association spokeswoman, Kersti Seksel, said the report offered an alternative to ”flawed” breed-specific dog laws.
”There’s a lot of places like the Netherlands and Italy where they have repealed the legislation because it hasn’t made any effective difference at all in the number of dog bites,” Dr Seksel said.
In NSW the ownership of four breeds – American pit bull terrier, Japanese tosa, dogo argentino (Argentinian fighting dog) and fila brasiliero (Brazilian fighting dog) – is banned.
Pets that had been declared potentially dangerous could have their classification reviewed after three years but the dogs would have to complete an approved behaviour program and pass a temperament test.
In the three months ending June 30 councils euthanased 200 dogs and made 81 dangerous dog declarations.
A spokesman for the Local Government Minister, Don Page, said the government’s Companion Animals Taskforce would consider the issue of dangerous and restricted dog management later in the year.