Sunday, September 25, 2011

Governance, and dangerous dogs

I have a dog, who I love dearly, so when the issue of dangerous dogs came up in the press last month, I took an interest.  I should say that I have two interests in this, firstly I'm interested in the policy, and secondly in the governance process (legislation was rushed through parliament).  To get some facts, I wrote the following email to the minister (
Hi Peter,

I see myself as a balanced dog-lover.  I'm not writing this email claiming that the current focus on reducing the damage done by dogs is a bad thing, however I am concerned to learn that our state is about to embark on a campaign of killing people's pets.  Rather than a long winded diatribe, I have a few simple questions:

1. Is the proposed legislation available for public review?
2. Why is there a need to rush through the legislation?
3. Is the intent to kill dogs, or to force owners to comply with legislation?  Today's Herald Sun article suggests that as long as a dog is registered, it's safe from this legislation, however I've heard from others that this isn't the case.
4. Has the department done any investigation into the proportion of dangerous breeds, and the proportion of un-registered dogs, that are involved in serious dog attacks?
5. Will the new legislation also consider mandatory training of dangerous breeds?  

I'd welcome a response to the above.

Not surprisingly, I didn't get a personal response from the minister.  However I was surprised by the response I did get:

Am I on the only one who thinks that the minister shouldn't need to get advice from the department in order to answer the first two points?

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