Put down, no appeal: Hardline stance on dogs
OWNERS of vicious dogs that are ordered to be put down by councils would have their appeal rights stripped under a hardline push to bolster community safety.
The Courier-Mail can reveal Moreton Bay Regional Council has called on the State Government to conduct a review of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) amid concerns owners of dangerous dogs ordered to be put down are making multiple appeals to save them.
Mayor Allan Sutherland says when a dog is involved in a vicious, unprovoked attack and there is clear evidence of the incident - such as video footage - the dog should be put down and the owner shouldn't be allowed to make an appeal.
In other cases, he argues owners should be entitled to just one QCAT appeal, comparing some dangerous dogs to a "loaded shotgun".
"They're unpredictable, they're dangerous and quite frankly some of them just don't belong in a suburban environment," he said.
"They attack joggers, they attack posties … they jump fences and the laws just don't seem to be supporting us enough."
Cr Sutherland said the cost to the council of housing the dog while appeals were underway, as well as legal costs, could be thousands of dollars.
Moreton Bay Council yesterday moved a motion at the Local Government Association of Queensland annual conference calling for the Government to review the Animal Management Act so that councils would have strengthened powers to investigate and manage serious dog attacks.
The motion, which passed with the strong support of fellow councils, also called for LGAQ to lobby the Government to conduct a review of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act and Regulation to find ways to reduce extended delays in hearing and determining matters.
Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said she and Agriculture Minister Mark Furner were happy to meet with councils about their proposals "to ensure fair and just laws that protect families and protect the rights of pet owners."
Cr Sutherland - who described himself as a "dog lover" - said there were certain situations when owners deserved an appeal, admitting dogs snapped for different reasons such as when they're sick or frightened.
"I'm not saying dogs like that should be put down," he said.
"I'm talking about these dogs that go out of their way to maul other dogs and people."
Councillor Rick Kearny from Goondiwindi Regional Council said they had noticed dog attacks in their community were getting worse as well.