John Bowler

John Bowler

Former Minister for Local Government; Employment Protection; Racing and Gaming; Goldfields-Esperance and Great Southern

    Tough new laws for 'fighting dogs'

    7/12/2005 12:00 AM

    New laws requiring American pit bulls and other restricted breeds of so-called ‘fighting dogs’ to be sterilised have been introduced in Western Australia.

    Restricted breed dogs such as dogo Argentino, fila Brasileiro, Japanese tosa, Presa Canario and American pit bull are already banned by the Federal Government from importation into Australia.

    Now the State Government has gone one step further by banning the breeding of these dangerous fighting dogs.

    The regulations will also provide for the inclusion of mixed-breed dogs which visibly contain one of the restricted breeds ‘traits’.

    Announcing the new laws, Local Government and Regional Development Minister John Bowler said the new laws required an owner to prove to an authorised person that their dog met one of the following requirements:
    • the dog has an ear tattoo showing that it has already been sterilised;
    or within a 24-hour period -
    • the owner produces a certificate from a veterinary surgeon showing that the dog has been previously sterilised (or is recovering from treatment and would suffer if sterilised at that time, or has a condition which would cause the dog to die); or
    • that the dog is under the age of 6 months.
    Restricted breed dogs which are not sterilised may be seized and destroyed.

    Mr Bowler said there were already stringent standards covering the ownership of American pit bulls, such as being kept in special compounds and muzzled when in public.

    He said those who already had these dogs as pets could keep them for the rest of the dog’s life, as long as they were sterilised.

    The regulations have also been amended to clarify that dogs kept on an owner’s property need to either be kept in an enclosure or muzzled and restrained on a leash by an adult.

    Owners found to have breached the regulations face a maximum penalty of $5,000.

    The regulations would be gazetted on Friday December 9, and would come into operation three months later to allow owners time to arrange for their dogs to be sterilised.

    Minister's office: 9213 6500