DANGEROUS dogs that attack livestock or people could be euthanised under Horsham Rural City Council’s new dog attack policy.
Council adopted the policy at a meeting on Monday night.
The policy outlines council’s position on dangerous dogs in the municipality.
It states if there is a serious attack on livestock or a person, council can request the dog’s owner to either surrender the offending dog or euthanise the dog.
The policy defines a serious attack as an attack where the victim requires medical attention – injuries can include broken bones, lacerations or loss of sensation or function in a part of the body.
Council will declare a dog as dangerous if it is responsible for a serious attack on a cat, dog, livestock or person.
Dangerous or restricted dogs will cost $500 a year to be registered.
Planning and economic director Tony Bawden said the policy was a clear pathway for enforcing existing legislation.
“Previously dealing with dog attacks was left largely to the discretion of the rangers,” he said.
“We now have a clear set of options.”
Mr Bawden said the policy would reassure the community that council was being proactive about dangerous dogs.
He said the policy was created after a series of dog attacks in the region.
Cr Pam Clarke said it was a good policy.
“It lays out what needs to happen in a dog attack situation,” she said.
“I’ve seen distressed owners of small dogs that have been attacked and it is a heartbreaking situation.
“It is the owners’ responsibility to keep dogs contained – I know they can dig holes and get out, but it is still the owners’ responsibility.”