A $195 annual permit fee will now be payable by owners of “problem dogs” and the new fee is part of a State government plan to try to protect the public from dangerous dogs.
Recent changes to legislation makes it easier for MidCoast Council rangers and enforcement agencies to take action against problem pets and irresponsible pet owners.
The introduction of the $195 annual permit for dogs that are of a restricted breed or declared to be dangerous is designed to be “a further disincentive to owning problem dogs and encourage dog owners to manage their behaviour”, according to the Office of Local Government.
In NSW, a restricted dog is one of the following:
- American pitbull terrier or Pitbull terrier
- Japanese tosa
- Dogo Argentino (Argentinean fighting dog)
- Fila Brasiliero (Brazilian fighting dog)
It also includes any other dog of a breed, kind or description, whose importation into Australia is prohibited by, or under, the Customs Act 1901 of the Commonwealth; and any dog declared by an authorised officer of a council, under division 6 of the Companion Animals Act 1998, to be a restricted dog.
Changes to the Companion Animals and Other Legislation Amendment Act allows authorities to define what a ‘serious injury’ is for the purposes of declaring a dog as menacing and imposing control requirements on them. This will also help council officers manage problem dogs and reduce attacks.
The Companion Animals and Other Legislation Amendment Act became law on 6 June 2018. The Act amends the Companion Animals Act 1998 (CA Act) and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 (POCTA) and is the first step in the NSW Animal Welfare Action Plan. The Act will enable the Government to implement its response to the Joint Select Committee on Companion Animal Breeding Practices in NSW.
That committee held three public hearings receiving evidence from 42 witnesses as well as 344 written submissions, a petition containing 3000 signatories and more than 2,200 emails and letters. The Act also responds to community feedback received in late 2017 through the review of the Companion Animals Regulation 2008.