Stronger penalties for owners of wildlife-killing dogs

Mark Shelton,Minister for Local Government

The Hodgman majority Liberal Government takes the protection of our unique wildlife seriously, and we are acting swiftly to bring on stronger penalties for dog attacks on wildlife.

Today the Government is releasing proposed changes to the Dog Control Act 2000 for public comment.

Changes include a new offence for instances where a dog injures or kills any sensitive wildlife in any area specified by the Minister responsible for the Nature Conservation Act 2002.

A person found guilty of the new offence could be: fined up to $5,040; be liable for a range of costs incurred; and may have their dog destroyed. Other offence provisions with additional monetary penalties in the Act may also apply, depending on the individual circumstances of the attack.

In addition, the penalty for taking a dog into a prohibited area containing sensitive habitat for native wildlife will also increase to $3,360. This approach will support local governments wishing to prohibit the entry of dogs into ecologically significant areas, such as Little Penguin colonies.

Following a series of dog attacks on Little Penguin across the state, the Government is committed to ensuring these amendments are in place ahead of the peak breeding season for Little Penguin over the summer months.

Public consultation on the proposed changes to the Act will close on 27 September 2019.

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