Thursday, 11 December 2008

el Loco & el Lobo: A line in the sand

Cross Post: "Today's visit to the beach was a lot of fun until a couple of guys, each with a pair of muzzled greyhounds, turned up and thuggishly started trying to order us off the beach...." Read the rest of the story from an Aussie who travelled Europe for 2 years with a BIG dog...then (for those readers who are not members) rethink your view of pets in our communities.

Apathetic or Anarchistic


Anonymous said...

Regretably, the thuggish greyhound walkers were quite correct in saying that it is illegal to walk a dog, off-leash, anywhere in Australia! The Companion Animal act, if taken literally, requires any dog to be 'under effective control, by means of....' (a leash). My local council often prints this part of the act in it's publications... Every time it does, I write to them and ask for clarification. "does this mean that it is illegal for me to have my dog off-leash in the off-leash park?". I have never had a satisfactory answer to this question. The usual response is an invitation to phone them...

If more people would approach their local council with the same question we might get somewhere with it... As things stand you can be charged with an offence for walking your dog in the off-leash areas... think about it!

Eedra at Barking Mad said...

comment from Anon:
Not exactly true. Council is only the regulatory authority, not the Crown. It's up to them to determine how best to enforce the Act. It's not mandatory that they enforce on a lead.

Also, assistance animals have no legal requirement to be on a lead.

And each State and Territory has different laws re dogs. (Like Queensland with one dog per family!)

There are other equally important Acts most notibly (in NSW) the prevention of cruelty to animals act which requires a contained animal to be adequately exercised. (The court has interpreted that to be one hour a day) That is simply not possible to achieve for certain breeds if they are on a lead, or for certain breeds if they have an invalid owner. I don't know of a mini foxy that would like to walk for an hour at a slow pace of .1 km hour!

Legal and illegal is difficult. Consider reasonable force, feeling fearful etc. These terms are used in legislation with no definition, and certainly someone who is not familiar with pet dogs could be scared to death if it barks and runs toward them, even if it is a big sloppering lab wanting friendship. Does that make the dog dangerous? By the letter of the law - YES (in NSW).

Too many people believe signs. I hope to get a photo essay up here some time of speed limit signs that say one thing with a different speed painted on the road, or no dogs signs using the international NO sign, but when reading the fine print, it say no uncontrolled dogs. Then again, what is control or uncontrol? How about NO ANIMALS - a sign at my local working poor that hit the pub and the drink hard on Friday night aren't animals from about the 3rd beer on?