Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 29 March 2017) . . Page.. 1216 ..
are treated very seriously and investigated thoroughly by domestic animal services here in Canberra.
With our amendments, the ACT government is releasing the animal welfare and management strategy. This strategy will guide animal management and welfare into the future for our pets, wildlife and livestock. It will provide a clear guide for the delivery of improved services and future investment in animal welfare and management activities. It will be an essential tool to direct continuous improvement in the lives of animals and people in the ACT, our lifestyles and the safety of our city.
The draft strategy has had input from a range of stakeholders, including the animal welfare advisory group, as Minister Fitzharris mentioned, the RSPCA ACT, rural leaseholders and various government directorates that have responsibility for animal management, including the ACT Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment. I, like Ms Le Couteur, encourage people to have their say on this strategy. I direct people to the website yoursay.gov.au/draft-animal-welfare-and-management-strategy to provide their comments over the period for which it is open for comment, that is, for approximately the next six weeks.
While the ACT has strong legislation governing the management of domestic animals, including dogs involved in attacks, it is a fact that legislation alone cannot prevent dog attacks. What is needed is action on multiple fronts to reduce the propensity and opportunity for attacks. This is precisely what the animal welfare and management strategy provides for.
In closing, Madam Speaker, I support this amendment that highlights the steps that the ACT government has taken in managing dangerous dogs by increasing penalties for dangerous dog attacks, setting up a working group to investigate dog management and releasing today the animal welfare and management strategy.
MS FITZHARRIS (Yerrabi—Minister for Health, Minister for Transport and City Services and Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research) (12.04), by leave: I thank members for their contributions today. I want to reiterate some comments I made and reflect on some of the comments made by other members. Certainly some of them go to the role that we in this place can play, the role that the government can play, and the role that the community can play.
Responsible pet ownership is key here, and significant work has been underway for the past 12 to 18 months to determine the best way as a government we can encourage that in our community, acknowledging again the seriousness of attacks, acknowledging and agreeing to further explore opportunities to strengthen our legislation. The draft animal welfare and management strategy outlines a comprehensive and holistic approach to all animal welfare and management in the territory, including pet ownership and animal industries, as well as our native wildlife.
It is really important in a city that values both our open space and our animals that we take a nation-leading approach, and this draft that has been contributed to heavily by key stakeholders outlines that. It also outlines some of the issues we have been speaking about today around responsible pet ownership, what the government can do