Attacks prompt review of dog laws in Mundaring

Stock image.
Stock image.

THE Mundaring Shire is reviewing its dog laws because the high number of dog attacks have become a concern.

Shire president David Lavell said the review was part of an education campaign started late last year and he called for people to have a say on local dog laws.

“Unfortunately, we have a relatively high number of dog attacks within the Shire – 154 were reported to council in the last financial year – therefore we are trying to implement other strategies to help reduce this number,” he said.

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Cr Lavell said in many cases inadequate fencing resulted in animals being able to escape and wander onto other people’s property.

“There is the potential for a dog to attack another animal, person or even be killed themselves; it’s not a good outcome either way,” he said.

Ratepayers packed a council chamber on Tuesday night to ask questions about ongoing allegations of a dog attack on animals.

A Shire spokeswoman said the council was unable to comment until after the court case on May 10 to 12.

Large properties within the Shire, with some owners keeping up to four dogs on a property, are among reasons given for the high rate of attacks.

Cr Lavell said despite the relatively high number of successful prosecutions in the shire – 17 in the last financial year – it was often difficult to find witnesses prepared to go to court after a dog attack.

“We understand the community’s hesitation to make a formal statement when they’ve witnessed a dog attack, but for everyone’s safety, we’d like to see them report any such matters to our Community Safety Rangers, so they can be dealt with in a timely manner,” he said.

Community feedback on the Dogs Local Law Act 2004 will contribute to the review.

The Shire is asking residents to provide suggestions for dog law improvement in writing before 4pm on March 7, along with contact details, to shire@mundaring.wa.gov.au or post a submission to the Shire offices.

Councils in neighbouring suburbs also are appealing for responsible dog ownership.

The City of Swan received 474 dog attack reports in 2015-2016, of which 170 were on people, 144 on dogs, 117 on other animals and 43 on livestock.

Chief executive Mike Foley said the City took its responsibilities under the Dog Act (1976) seriously and treated dog attacks as a priority.

Shire of Kalamunda reminded dog owners to be aware of recent reports of wandering dogs and attacks.

In 2015-20`16, 43 dog attack cases in the Shire resulted in an infringement.