Owners of dangerous dogs that kill or cause serious injuries to other people could face up to three years in jail under draft laws introduced to Queensland’s Parliament this week.
It follows a spike in Queensland dog attacks in the last 12 months, including a fatal attack on an electrical meter reader in December.
The legislation also includes a ban on five dangerous dog breeds.
Queensland dangerous dog laws
Draft legislation has been introduced by the Rural Communities Minister, Mark Furner, who said the laws would make communities “as safe as possible from dog attacks”.
In addition to jail time, fines of up to $108,000 will apply to irresponsible owners whose dog attacks another person.
Dog breed ban
A group of dangerous dog breeds will also be banned from being purchased in Queensland. The five breeds are:
- Dogo Argentino
- Fila Brasileiro
- Japanese Tosa
- American pitbull terrier
- Presa Caneiro
These breeds were proposed by the Queensland Government during community consultation this year. Currently, an approved council permit is needed to own one of these breeds.
About 100,000 dog bites occur in Australia every year, leaving around 3% of victims hospitalised.
The legislation would bring Queensland in line with other Australian states, where serious owners can be sentenced to prison for serious dog attacks.
Queensland’s Labor Government has a majority of seats in the one house of Parliament, which means it won’t need cross-party support to pass the laws.