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Sykes supports animal control laws

State Member for Benalla Bill Sykes has thrown his support behind the government’s proposed new domestic animal ownership laws.

December 12, 2013 8:57am

State Member for Benalla Bill Sykes has thrown his support behind the government’s proposed new domestic animal ownership laws.

The laws were presented to state parliament last month in the Domestic Animals Amendment Bill 2013.

The bill amends the Domestic Animals Act 1994 to impose tougher penalties for people who breed restricted breed dogs and increases investigative powers where there are suspicions of people owning such animals.

The new laws would empower the Magistrates’ Court to disqualify a person from owning or being in charge of a dog if they have committed certain offences and includes changing the declaration of a restricted breed dog from 28 to 14 days.

It also requires owners of restricted breed dogs to notify local government if they move from one municipality to another.

Dr Sykes said the changes would protect the community from dangerous dogs.

‘‘Whilst the argument can be run that it is the deed not the breed that is the cause of the problem, the underlying issue is that in many cases pit bull breed dogs and their crosses have a propensity to attack humans and other dogs,’’ Dr Sykes said.

The bill passed through the lower house last week.

It is likely to be voted on by upper house members this week.

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