RSPCA says 'dangerous dog' rules not the solution

RSPCA says 'dangerous dog' rules not the solution

Restricting certain dog breeds is not the way to stem the ACT's recent spate of maulings, the RSPCA says.

A number of dog attack victims have previously suggested breed-specific legislation (BSL) might be a solution to the issue.

The RSPCA says banning dangerous dog breeds simply won't work.

The RSPCA says banning dangerous dog breeds simply won't work. Credit:istock

Breed-specific legislation typically outlaws specific breeds such as pit bulls.

The RSPCA said these rules were "ineffective" and the best way to prevent attacks was by placing the responsibility on dog owners.


"There is a recent discussion about breed-specific legislation being considered within the ACT," a spokeswoman said.

"[This is] something which RSPCA ACT is fundamentally opposed to. Quite simply it doesn't work."

Owners should be better educated about their responsibilities and authorities should do more to enforce existing legislation such as the Domestic Animal Act 2000, she said.

The Domestic Animal Act prescribes mandatory measures such as de-sexing and registration of pets.

"BSL is the restriction of specific breeds or cross breeds of dogs regardless of their behaviour.

"By generalising the behaviours of dogs that look a certain way, innocent dogs suffer.

"Responsible pet owners are put in a no-win situation, and animals are euthanised without evidence that they pose a threat."

Not only was breed-specific legislation ineffective, it was incredibly difficult to enforce, the spokeswoman said.

"Determining the primary breed of a dog – particularly if it's a cross-breed - is difficult for even trained professionals.


"The facts prove that BSL simply doesn't work and introducing such legislation would put countless number of innocent animals down for no other reason than their appearance rather than their behaviour.

"Stereotyping animals will lead to unnecessary death."

Steven Trask is a reporter for The Canberra Times

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