Upper Hunter Shire Council urging residents to report all dog attacks

UPPER Hunter Shire Council is urging residents to report to council all incidents of dog attacks, menacing dogs and unreasonable barking. 

Reports should be made to council on 6540 1100 during business hours or to the after-hours number 6540 1199.

Upper Hunter mayor Wayne Bedggood said council could only act in response to formal complaints.

“Council has received anecdotal reports but we are concerned that the vast majority of these incidents are not being formally reported to council at the time,” he said.

“Council takes menacing dogs very seriously and investigates any complaints received and takes enforcement action as available under the law.

“If we get an increase in formal reports of unrestrained and threatening dogs in Murrurundi, there will be more Ranger visits.”

Council is also conducting an audit of declared dangerous dogs, which involves inspecting properties and enclosures.

The Companion Animals and Other Legislation Amendment Act became law on June 6, 2018. 

Under this law a failure to ensure that a proposed dangerous or menacing dog is muzzled, leashed and under the control of a competent person can attract a fine of up to $5500.

A declared dangerous dog is a dog that an authorised council officer or a local court has declared as dangerous because it:

* Has, without provocation, attacked or killed a person or animal (not including vermin), or

* Has, without provocation, repeatedly threatened to attack or repeatedly chased a person or animal (not including vermin), or

* Is kept or used for hunting (not including a dog used for locating, flushing, pointing or retrieving birds or vermin), or

* Has been declared a dangerous dog under a law of another State or a Territory that corresponds with the Act.

* A declared menacing dog is a dog that an authorised council officer or a local court has declared as menacing because it:

* Has displayed unreasonable aggression towards a person or animal (other than vermin), or

* Has, without provocation, attacked a person or animal (other than vermin) but without causing serious injury or death, or

* Has been declared a menacing dog under a law of another State or a Territory that corresponds with the Act.