Owners Urged To Register Restricted Dog Breeds

Owners Urged To Register Restricted Dog Breeds

Victoria Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh

Time Is Running Out To Register Restricted Dog Breeds

Victor P Taffa

Owners of restricted breed dogs such as pit bulls are being urged to register their animals before tough new laws come into effect next Friday.

Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh said owners of restricted breeds had just one week to act before un-registered restricted breed dogs could be put down by authorities.

“From 30 September councils across Victoria will, after due process, have the right to seize and destroy unregistered restricted breed dogs.” Mr. Walsh said.

“The message to pit bull owners and other restricted breeds is very clear you must act now. Your dog must be registered and its breed specified before the amnesty ends.”

 

The Victorian Coalition Government introduced the new laws including guidelines to identify restricted breeds and overcome uncertainty over the type of dog breeds to be regulated after the death of four-year-old Ayen Chol last month.

Mr. Walsh said he was concerned by reports of restricted breed dogs being abandoned by owners prior to the deadline. People who abandon dogs, particularly dangerous or restricted dogs, can face jail terms of up to 12 months or fines of more than $14,000.

“I strongly discourage people from abandoning their pitbull terriers out of concern for being held responsible if their dog injures or kills someone.” Mr. Walsh said.

“Councils are obliged to take surrendered dogs, including restricted breed dogs, where the owner no longer wishes to keep them.”

“Many councils will accept surrendered dogs, either for free or a small fee, to discourage owners from abandoning dogs.” Mr. Walsh said.

“There is little or no cost involved in handing in an unwanted pit bull terrier to the local council and it is the most responsible option.”

“Abandoning the dog creates a serious risk of dog attack and puts council officers attempting to corner and capture these dogs in public places at risk.” Mr. Walsh said.

Legislation introduced by the Victorian Coalition Government in Parliament last week proposes that owners of declared dangerous, menacing or restricted breed dogs could face up to 10 years in jail if their dog killed another person.