Dog laws could put the bite on owners

Kylee Hastee with dog Jade and children Jameelee and Braedon Plummer. Picture: Marcelo Palacios d404219
Kylee Hastee with dog Jade and children Jameelee and Braedon Plummer. Picture: Marcelo Palacios d404219

The Dog Amendment Bill makes micro-chipping mandatory for new dogs from November 1 and targets dangerous dogs irrespective of breed.

All other dogs must be microchipped by November 2015.

Local governments will also have stronger provisions to deal with barking dogs.

Since the amended legislation was introduced, several people have contacted Comment News, including a Gosnells woman who said she has endured six years of dogs barking next door.

Mr Simpson said the new laws focussed on the behaviour of dogs, not their breed.

‘Dogs that have attacked or been aggressive towards people can be declared dangerous and are then subject to controls to protect the public.

‘Rather than just fining owners, courts will have new provisions to require them to attend dog training.’

Kylee Hastie, of Armadale said the laws may not do enough to protect families who have a dog to discourage burglars.

‘My dog is here to protect me and my family and my dog is counted as family,’ Ms Hastie said.

She said owners should not be penalised for people who were trespassing.

A Department of Local Government spokeswoman said under the current Dog Act, an owner is liable if a dog attacks or chases a person, thereby committing an offence.

‘However, under the Dog Amendment Bill 2013, amendments to the Act will create two levels of offence according to whether physical injury is caused, with differing levels of maximum penalty,’ she said.

‘If the dog bit a visitor, the situation would be treated differently from one where the dog bit a person that was illegally on the premises and there was some reasonable expectation that the dog was protecting its owner.’

City of Gosnells chief executive Ian Cowie said the State Government’s Dog Amendment Bill 2013 was currently with the Legislative Assembly and it is understood to provide local governments with greater powers to deal with issues such as barking dogs.