Tough new dog laws could cost owners big
OWNERS of declared and dangerous dogs would be forced to house their animals in sturdier enclosures under a push to stop children being attacked.
Brisbane City Council has called on the State Government to introduce stricter rules to make enclosures more childproof, but the rules would not be restricted to those in Brisbane.
It would instead apply to dog owners across Queensland.
The council wants to make it impossible for children to put their arms and legs through enclosures, recommending that they be built with materials such as brick, timber and iron.
The proposed requirements would affect the owners of the 403 declared dogs that live in Brisbane, as well as those throughout the rest of the state.
The council made the recommendation in a submission to the State Government's review of existing animal management regulations for cats and dogs.
In its submission, the council said requirements that stopped a child climbing into an enclosure were not good enough.
"Merely preventing a child from climbing into the enclosure does not prevent the child from accessing or manipulating the enclosure by their limbs or appendages in the enclosure walls," it said.
A Council spokeswoman said the move would bring Queensland in line with other states.
"Council's recommendations to alter enclosure heights and materials is to ensure the health and safety of residents," she said.
"Dog owners would be required to implement and fund any amendments to their enclosures as a result of any changes to the requirements of enclosures within the regulation."
A State Government spokesman said submissions made to the review would "inform" any changes made to the regulations, which were expected to be finalised before September.
In Queensland, several breeds, including American pit bull terriers and the dogo argentino, are automatically declared as restricted dogs.
Staffordshire bull terriers, Australian cattle dogs and german shepherds have been among the most common breeds in Brisbane reported for attacks or menacing behaviour.
Queensland Staffy and Amstaff Rescue president Andrea Miszczuk said staffies were often misunderstood.
She described them as "couch cuddlers".
"Any dog with training is a good dog, and any dog that's left untrained and to its own devices will be a bad dog," she said.