Owners of dogs the state government deems to be dangerous will be slapped with an annual fee of almost $200.
In a bid to disincentivise owning American pitbull terriers, pitbull terriers, Japanese tosas, as well as Argentinean and Brazilian fighting dogs, councils will begin collecting $195 a year from July 1, 2019.
In addition to the five breeds the NSW government categorises as ‘restricted breeds’, the fee will also apply to individual dogs declared by council officers or local courts to be a ‘dangerous dog’.
The law states that a dog can be found to be dangerous if it has, without provocation, attacked or killed a person or animal, threatened to attack or repeatedly chased a person or animal, is kept or used for hunting or has been declared a dangerous dog in another state.
It’s best for everyone if these types of dogs aren’t kept.Orange City Council Manager of Corporate and Community Relations Nick Redmond
Orange City Council Manager of Corporate and Community Relations Nick Redmond said any measure to protect residents and other animals from these types of dogs was welcomed by council.
“We certainly don’t need these types of breeds in the city and the fee proposed by the state government would act as a disincentive for people to keep these types of dogs,” he said.
Mr Redmond said there are currently 47 registered restricted-breed dogs in the Orange Local Government Area, which includes the city and its 290-square-kilometre surrounds.
“That number comes from owners willingly declaring the dog as a restricted breed, as required by law on registration documents and from encounters with council rangers,” Mr Redmond said.
In addition to restricted dogs having to be muzzled when they’re not locked up, Mr Redmond said these breeds must be kept in enclosed, caged areas which are childproof, adhere to strict size measurements, and have sealed concrete floors, among a raft of other measures.
“It’s best for everyone if these types of dogs aren’t kept,” he said.
“Besides, it is illegal to sell, breed or transfer ownership of restricted breeds.”
Council reported a total of 22 dog attacks in the first three months of last year, with 11 people attacked by dogs, and two of those attacks categorised as ‘serious’.
Failure to register dangerous or menacing dogs can incur a fine of up to $6,600.
The sale or purchase of a proposed dangerous or menacing dog can incur a fine of up to $16,500.
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