Wingecarribee Shire Council is reminding owners of companion animals of their responsibilities following the recent prosecution of two local dog owners.
The prosecutions relate to an attack in Bowral where two dogs attacked and fatally injured a number of livestock.
“Three ewes and a ram received such serious injuries that they all had to be euthanazed,” said Council’s Senior Ranger Troy McGlynn.
“The owners of the dogs responsible received a notice to attend Moss Vale Local Court where they were subsequently fined for the attacks.”
In addition to paying $680 in compensation for the loss of livestock, each dog owner was fined a penalty of $1500.
In fining the owners the magistrate noted the severity of the attack and said the penalties should serve as notice of the responsibilities of all dog owners.
“Dog owners should be aware that the same rules apply to companion animals regardless of where they live,” Mr McGlynn said. “It doesn’t matter if you live in a rural, regional or metropolitan area.”
“If your dog isn’t properly secured and it escapes and causes harm or damage, as the owner you are responsible and liable.”
In handing down the decision the magistrate also noted a degree of recklessness on behalf of the owners who knew that the dogs had been escaping prior to the attack.
Section 12A of the Companion Animals Act 1998 states that the owner of a dog must take all reasonable precautions to prevent their dog from escaping from the property on which it is being kept.
If not contained, the owner or the person who is at the time in charge of the animal can be found guilty and face tough penalties that can escalate if the dog is considered dangerous, menacing or restricted.
For more information on the Companion Animals Act 1998 visit www.legislation.nsw.gov.au