THE death of a young child in Victoria this week has prompted Orange City Council to reiterate its tough stance on the ownership of restricted dog breeds in the hope of eventually eradicating them from the city.
Council’s manager of corporate and community relations Nick Redmond said the council would like to see pit bull terriers, American pit bull terriers, Japanese tosas, Argentinian fighting dogs and Brazilian fighting dogs, and any cross breeds of them outlawed in Orange.
“They’re dangerous dogs, they have the potential to do serious damage to other dogs and people,” Mr Redmond said.
There are 54 restricted breeds registered in Orange, including 17 pit bull terriers, six American pit bull terriers and 32 cross pit bull terriers
The figures were compiled in 2006, however Mr Redmond believes the numbers may have swelled since then.
He suspects some owners of restricted breeds have not registered their dogs in an effort to avoid arduous ownership regulations.
“There could be as many as 20,000 dogs in Orange so it’s hard to know how many [restricted breeds] there would be,” he said.
“The numbers are low but the potential for them to do damage is pretty high.”
Council, in accordance with the Companion Animals Act, enforces considerable restrictions on the ownership of these restricted breeds.
The restrictions include a ban on breeding and compulsory desexing.
There’s also strict rules on child-proof caging and walking the animals which demand the dog to be fitted with both a muzzle and a lead when not caged.
The dogs must also wear a red and yellow reflective collar alerting people to their classification.
Mr Redmond said if one of the restricted breed of dogs was found without an appropriate restraint the owner would be issued with a $7000 fine.
“The fine is just the start,” he said.
Mr Redmond said he’d like to see the owners of restricted breeds surrender their dogs to the council to be euthanised.
“That’s our preference,” he said.
Owners of restricted breeds must notify council if: