New dog laws welcomed

Dog trainer Laura Ryder and vet Dr Gibb MacDonald with pooches Malani, Wicket, Buzz and Pip. Picture: Marcus Whisson d403125
Dog trainer Laura Ryder and vet Dr Gibb MacDonald with pooches Malani, Wicket, Buzz and Pip. Picture: Marcus Whisson d403125

The Dog Amendment Bill, introduced into State Parliament last week, will include mandatory microchipping for all dogs, tighter control on dangerous dogs and making owners criminally responsible if their dog kills or endangers a person’s life.

The proposed changes come as Morley Vetcentre launches a seminar for local dog owners this month.

Ms Ryder, a Delta accredited trainer at the centre, said staff were dealing with an increasing number of dog issues, from nuisance barking complaints to dog attack victims.

‘Education and training is vital in reducing the number of nuisance dog problems as well as the incidents of dog attacks in our community,’ she said.

‘As stricter guidelines on dog ownership are introduced by the State Government, it is more important than ever for dog owners to have well-behaved dogs.

‘Our dog owner seminar aims to raise awareness and provide dog owners with valuable resources to make their beloved canine companion a healthy, happy member of our community.’

Centre Veterinarian Gibb MacDonald said stray dogs were an ongoing problem and microchipping was essential for permanent identification.

Dr MacDonald said the Centre fully supported Local Government Minister Tony Simpson’s view that ‘the focus is on the behaviour of the dogs, not their breed.’

‘Unfortunately, some members of our community need to have the threat of or initiation of legal action to prompt them to do the right thing with regards to their dog and its behaviour so yes, it is a good initiative, but the majority of dog owners are very sensible,’ he said.

Under proposed legislation, councils will have greater powers to deal with nuisance and dangerous dogs.

Stirling Community Safety manager Laurie Crouch said harsher penalties would help to make dog owners more aware of their responsibilities.

‘It is not acceptable for a dog to threaten or worse, cause injury to others and tougher penalties will send a clear message to owners who disregard the law,’ he said.

Town of Bassendean Mayor John Gangell agreed mandatory microchipping for dogs (from November 1 for new pets and by November 2015 for all others) was ‘a big step forward’ along with proposed controls on dangerous dogs.

Morley Vetcentre’s July 24 seminar runs from 6:30-9pm at the Morley Sport and Recreation Centre.

Ticket $10 with all proceeds to Guide Dogs WA. To book, call 9275 3000.