Thursday, November 06, 2008

NSW Local Government and dogs

Tougher line with councils over dog attacks

This popped under my nose this morning - The Sydney Morning Herald reports every dog attack on its home page, with the same breathless enthusiasm as a murder or an airplane crash - in such a way as to make you think that we were in the middle of a rising tide of canine violence.

Look at the article more closely:
"The Department of Local Government received 69 reports of dog attacks from councils in the 2007-08 financial year."
"Under the Companion Animals Act, an "attack" refers to a dog rushing at, attacking, biting, harassing or chasing any person or animal, other than vermin."
That is a tiny number of incidents in relation to the hundreds of thousands of dogs in this state (it's probably not too different for cats or bees) and is not broken down from a serious biting incident vs "chasing any person" or animal but nonetheless:
The Minister for Local Government, Barbara Perry, said she would attempt to speed up reporting.
NB the actual concern is about reportage, since the numbers had dropped from the previous year.

I wrote to her recent predecessor (via my underwhelming local member, Deputy Premier Carmel Tebbutt) earlier this year about providing more reasonable facilities for dogs in this area - measures which would alleviate problem issues - and got a near-formulaic response. I returned that response to Ms Tebbutt immediately, asking for a more adult review and she lodged it with incoming Minister Perry. No reply.


  1. Some people can be vermin too, are they also counted?

    BTW, I love your 'boys', it almost looks if they smile all the time.

  2. Ha - a true Barking Mad moment.