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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 11 Hansard (24 October) . . Page.. 4130 ..


cent of general calls to domestic animal services drop out. What about reporting a roaming dog? This could potentially be the precursor to an attack. It could be an attack waiting to happen. More often than not, a call about a roaming dog goes to a recorded message, which has no options which relate to roaming dogs.

There was a case of a woman from Tuggeranong who saw a roaming dog menacing an elderly pedestrian. She went inside her house and phoned Access Canberra and was put on hold. By the time she was finally connected to an operator, after a lengthy delay, she was not able to answer the question about where the dog was at that moment because she had gone inside her house. As a result, her report of a roaming dog, an attacking dog, was not logged.

In the past five years, hundreds of innocent domestic pets have been killed and mutilated by dog attacks in the ACT. It is a major animal welfare failing of this government. In the first five months of this year alone 124 pets have been reported to have been attacked—Jakk, Rocky, Coco, Rex, Biscuit, Max, Buddy, Indy, Cooper, Bear, Duke, Toby. I could go on and on and on—all loved pets, all beloved family animals and companions, attacked and mutilated or killed.

Mr Steel was quoted in the Canberra Times as saying that we are presenting today a deliberately cruel piece of legislation. Where is the cruelty in trying to stop pets on leads being mauled to death in a public street—mauled, to die a slow and painful death as their owners watch on and do everything that they can to save their pet? A deliberately cruel piece of legislation?

Mr Steel: Madam Speaker, on a point of order, I would seek your guidance in relation to standing order 183 that the debate shall be confined to the components of the bill.

MADAM SPEAKER: I am not going to make that a point of order, Mr Steel. The bill is contentious. Stop the clock. There is no point of order, Mr Steel. Ms Lawder.

MS LAWDER: Obviously Mr Steel does not like the direction of the discussion today. The point I was making is that there is no animal welfare interest in allowing beloved pets to be mauled in public or on people's properties, in their own backyards. It is expensive but that is usually the least concern of the owners of those pets.

In the past, dog management reforms that were presented were opposed by Labor and the Greens because of the real-world impact. Ms Le Couteur was concerned about this real-world impact. Aside from the human deaths and injuries, poor animal welfare is one that the human real world impacts. I would be interested in Ms Le Couteur's reflection on the animal welfare implications of having pets killed and mutilated in their homes or backyards or when being walked in public and why she and the rest of the Greens, Mr Rattenbury, have not called the government to account for its neglect of these animal welfare issues.

Today I present a bill to try to improve dog banishment. Some of the elements of our bill are as follows: the victims of dog attacks should be informed about the outcomes of an investigation, data should be collected and stored more effectively and dog rangers should be given increased and clearer powers to seize dogs that pose a risk to


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