The NSW government will toughen the state's dog laws,
including introducing a new category of menacing dogs,
following a recent fatal attack on a toddler.
The changes follows the death of two-year-old Deeon Higgins,
who was mauled by his cousin's bullmastiff in Deniliquin in
the state's southwest this month. The dog had not been
considered dangerous before the attack.
Councils will be able to order the owners of dogs that have
not attacked but are deemed aggressive to have their dogs
desexed, wear a muzzle and never to be left alone with
someone under the age of 18, The Daily Telegraph has
Owners who ignore the tough rules for dogs categorised as
menacing, dangerous or restricted will face maximum jail time
of five years if their dog then attacks.
Under current legislation a dog has to attack before it can
be declared dangerous.
"This is a more proactive approach that is followed in other
jurisdictions," Local Government Minister Don Page told the
Fines will increase to a maximum of $77,000 from $55,000 for
owners who fail to comply.
The NSW government originally received recommendations for
tougher dog laws from the Companion Animals Taskforce in
February, the Telegraph said.