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I saw this posted on another forum.

Dog laws a mongrel mix

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By Steve Gee

January 09, 2009 12:00am

THEY have been billed as the toughest laws on dangerous dogs in the nation.

But despite stiff restriction on five breeds of fighting dogs and mandatory enclosures, dog experts and councils admit blurred lines are allowing thousands of dangerous canines to slip through the net.

The four dogs involved in Wednesday's fatal attack on three-year-old Ruby-Lea Bourke were all bull mastiff crosses.

Under the Companion Dogs Act, bull mastiffs are not among the restricted breeds - American pitbulls or pitbull terriers, Japanese tosas, Argentinean fighting dogs (Dogo Argentino), Brazilian fighting dogs (Fila Braziliero) and Perro de Presa Canarios from the Canary Islands).

However, those at the coalface - council dog controllers - are adamant that the laws are not strict enough because there is no onus on identifying cross breeds.

And although bull mastiffs are not officially on the restricted animals list, the Department of Local Government has told councils mastiff cross breeds should also be covered by the tough legislation.

A circular issued on December 19 encouraged councils to be proactive about checking on suspicious animals.

But it is understood no bull mastiffs have been investigated, including the four involved in the Whitton attack.

Dog expert Wayne Asplet, who works with three Sydney councils on dog laws, said a loophole in the legislation meant dangerous cross breeds have slipped detection because there was no onus on owners to identify which breeds a pet was crossed with.

Mr Asplet said American staffordshires were being allowed into the country despite the breed simply being another name for a pitbull terrier.

He said the NSW Canine Council didn't want to make an issue of the importations because it would upset too many of its 85,000 fee-paying members.

"The bull mastiff is a cross breed of a bulldog so therefore it is a restricted breed under the clear definition," Mr Asplet said yesterday.

"In theory the cross breed is any cross breed of anything which was the species and the original species is bulldog.

"Even pigdogs are cross breeds.

"But no one ever takes it to the nth degree, but at the same time all these dogs are cross-bred with something."

Under current legislation, owners must have dogs microchipped by a vet who declares their breed.

"But they just tell the vet it's this breed and the council just goes off what the vet's called it," Mr Asplet said.

"They go to sympathetic vets and the worst thing is some vets are doing it on newborn pups they know that are coming out of pitbulls that are called American staffordshire terriers.

"That's our biggest problem about the restricted breeds, plus there's probably another few breeds that should be added to the list anyway.

"We've been pointing it out for years, but unfortunately the welfare-orientated people and the people with interests have got in the ear of the minister and the Department of Local Government.

'People don't get this. This is a law enforcement Act, not welfare, so why welfare has got so much say in this Act when it's a local government minister's portfolio has always stunned us people at the coal face and it's quite dangerous sometimes.

"I've been talking about this since 1983. I've been through seven or eight ministers and no one has tightened it until two years ago, but (the changes are) still not enough."

Mr Asplet said there was little doubt Ruby-Lea and her 16-month-old sister, Lilly, should never have been allowed near the dogs, regardless of their history.

He said the dogs would have been defending their territory. "Whatever reason, you just don't have those sorts of dogs around young kids."

Dog lover Nellie Abela, who has been breeding bull mastiffs for over 20 years, defended the dogs as placid.

"For me to talk to you about the breed is just insinuating that the breed was involved," she said.

"I'm not saying a mastiff wouldn't have done it, but it still depends on the situation of a breed being in a backyard.

"But the bull mastiff is certainly not known for attacking and the amount of attacks from a pure-bred bull mastiff you couldn't even count on one hand.

"They're very placid, but again it depends how they're brought up.

"It's the human contact that needs to be looked at, not the dogs. The dogs can't answer for themselves."

Leeton Council mayor Paul Maytom said a lack of clarity about cross-breeds made it difficult for councils to regulate dogs. He said he was unaware of any directive about bull mastiff crosses but the issue would be included in a council review.

"If we are not getting any complaints it's hard to know where dogs are causing a problem," he said. "It is difficult. We do need to look how we can better control things to ensure these types of things don't happen in the future."

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PPS might remember this guy... :wave:

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Lhok   

I want to know where I can become a Dog Expert so then I can make comments regarding BSL /sigh it's aways the same after a dog attack.

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Dosnt asslet also have an interest in building RB dog enclosures? big money spinner no wonder he wants to see every breed go that path.

I rembember the StackHat debarkle long ago, a vested interest by a single solitary MP in them, thats how we got the bicycle helmet laws. When they came in you could only ever buy a white or canary yellow Stackhat helmet.

Theres gotta be money in it for someone. And that MP cleaned up big time for a couple years.

I see a correlation here.

Edited by NorthernStarPits

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Clyde   

Yay for Nellie. Very level headed comments.

I went to a dinner last night where three old cronies were calling for Bullmastiffs to be wiped out :thumbsup:

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mita   
Dog lover Nellie Abela, who has been breeding bull mastiffs for over 20 years, defended the dogs as placid.

"For me to talk to you about the breed is just insinuating that the breed was involved," she said.

"I'm not saying a mastiff wouldn't have done it, but it still depends on the situation of a breed being in a backyard.

"But the bull mastiff is certainly not known for attacking and the amount of attacks from a pure-bred bull mastiff you couldn't even count on one hand.

"They're very placid, but again it depends how they're brought up.

"It's the human contact that needs to be looked at, not the dogs. The dogs can't answer for themselves."

Sensible lady....& the science would back what she says.

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I think anyone with half a mind can see that its not the dogs fault, let alone the breed of dog. Its a fact that some dogs are more strong willed than others, but its also a fact that the owner is the one who brings up the dog. The owner makes the dog, and he/she should be responsible for its actions.

This is just another pathetic attempt by the government to try and look good. What they should be focusing on is educating the public about how to deal with strange dogs.

How did this child get in alone with 4 strange dogs?

Where was the mother or father or guardian of any kind?

Im sure my Labrador could do plenty of harm to my 3 year old nephew, just by wagging his tail to hard and accidently knocking him over.

Does this mean hes a savage beast who deserves to be killed? That his breed should be banned?

No!

It means I am a complete idiot for leaving my nephew alone with a dog.

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