Brought to heel
July 13, 2006
A THIRD dog attack in two days has left Local Government Minister Kerry Hickey conceding defeat over how to solve the problem.
Despite claiming NSW had the "harshest" dog laws in Australia, Mr Hickey yesterday said he was at "pains" to find a way to halt the spate of attacks.
He rejected calls to expand the restricted dog breed list, calling it a "knee-jerk" reaction.
"If I keep expanding the restricted breed list, we will have no dogs left in NSW," he said.
"I am reluctant to start naming more dogs on the list because where do we stop? If a fox terrier bites someone, should they be on the list?"
But the tough laws he boasts about couldn't prevent two women being mauled by dogs or a toddler being attacked by a hunting dog this week.
In the latest attack, on Tuesday afternoon, a 37-year-old woman was bitten by a German shepherd dog as she walked along Brown Rd near her Bonnyrigg home.
She suffered puncture wounds, cuts and bruises when the dog bit her on the right ankle and left thigh after escaping from the yard of a nearby house.
A 73-year-old Mt Druitt woman suffered leg injuries and was treated at hospital after being attacked by a dog on Monday.
Only hours later, two-year-old Jacob Kent was savaged by a Japanese akita dog while he played with his sisters on the lawn of his family's Horsley Park house.
The pure-bred hunting dog is banned in other countries.
At least seven other serious dog attacks have occurred in the past 12 months but the State Government is refusing to review legislation on dangerous dogs.
In January, the Government banned pit bull terriers, American pit bulls, Japanese tosas, Argentinean and Brazilian fighting dogs.
It also gave councils greater power to deem a dog dangerous.
"We need owners to be more responsible, we need councils to enforce the rules and regulations to stop dog attacks," Mr Hickey said.
The Government is spending $4.6 million to educate children on how to avoid being bitten, but only two of the past five attacks involved children.
Opposition local government spokesman John Turner yesterday repeated his calls to review the laws.