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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 21 September 2010) . . Page.. 4195 ..


to contain the outbreak when the RSPCA successfully contained an outbreak within seven days?

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Ms Le Couteur. No, I was not aware of that particular incident. I must say that I regret it and I can understand how distressing it must have been for those involved. As for your assumptions around comparative competence as between the RSPCA and DAS, I have utter faith in DAS. I have to say, in the absence of a briefing on the issue, I am not prepared to accept your underlying assumption and the implicit criticism of dedicated ACT public servants working at DAS. I will take advice on the matter and I will respond to you in full when I have it.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Ms Le Couteur?

MS LE COUTEUR: Minister, I understand the pound was closed last week after the recent outbreak. Is the pound now open?

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Ms Le Couteur. I believe I signed a letter to you as recently as the end of last week in which I provided you with all of the information available to me at the time. I think it was a letter I sent to you last Friday. I have not received an update or further advice from TAMS on the Domestic Animal Services pound since last Friday when I wrote to you and provided you with details of the incident in relation to the outbreak of parvo disease. I am more than happy to provide weekly briefs to you on the issue if that would be of assistance.

MS HUNTER: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Hunter.

MS HUNTER: Minister, what action is DAS taking to investigate how this reinfection occurred and what further steps are being taken to prevent more infections or outbreaks?

MR STANHOPE: I will have to take the question on notice, Ms Hunter. As I have just indicated, I was not aware of the incident so I cannot respond to you, but I am more than happy to take it on notice. It is a very serious issue. I think in that regard—

Mrs Dunne: And I think you should ensure that every stray is immunised.

MR STANHOPE: It is an interesting suggestion that we should immunise all strays. I was going to go to a particular issue relating to an essential difference between the work of the RSPCA and the Domestic Animal Services pound. The dogs that are retrieved by rangers are invariably strays or dogs that have other issues in relation to their behaviour. They go to the Domestic Animal Services pound rather than the RSPCA—in other words, they are violent dogs, dogs that have attacked other dogs or animals or dogs that have attacked people—as well as, of course, the vast majority of strays. The vast majority of strays are roaming dogs, wild dogs, dogs in the street.

Dogs that attack people are essentially relocated or housed at the pound, not at the RSPCA. It is a very different cohort. It is a very different service that Domestic


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