An owner of a dog that does serious harm to a person in Queensland could face fines of up to $108,000 under new legislation being introduced into state parliament.
The legislation, if passed, will also confirm a proposed ban for five breeds deemed dangerous.
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They are: Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Japanese Tosa, American pit bull terrier or pit bull terrier and Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario.
The legislation more than doubles the maximum fines under the present Animal Management Act for an owner who has not taken “reasonable steps” to prevent an attack, when the attack causes death or grievous bodily harm.
The proposed new laws also provide for a maximum three-year jail term for such owners.
Queensland agriculture minister Mark Furner says the laws will put dog owners “on notice” to be “responsible”.
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“Over the last 10 years, there has been 64 per cent increase in emergency department presentations as a result of attacks by dangerous dogs,” Furner said on Thursday.
“On average each year, councils in Queensland declare 500 dogs as dangerous.
“This will make our community safer by putting a focus on the owners of dogs that are irresponsible.”
He cited a dog attack case “some years ago” when a toddler girl was left with wounds on her check “that you could poke a finger through”.
Energex subcontractor Kane Minion, 42, was fatally mauled by dogs while reading meters at Greenbank, south of Brisbane, in late 2022, while a toddler girl suffered significant head and neck injuries when attacked in her backyard on the northern Gold Coast.
Mark Furner has introduced legislation to massively increase fines of owners of dangerous dogs. Credit: AAP
Furner said 81 per cent of dog attacks on average in Queensland were on children.
He said dogs of the five banned breeds won’t be euthanised, but would be “grandfathered out”, by not being allowed to have puppies.
Imports of the breeds into Queensland will be banned.
The legislation would give local council officers the ability to issue fines to owners who had a “lack of control” of their dogs at off-leash parks, Furner said.
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