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Byron Shire
March 2, 2021

Dog attack owners face court

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A Byron Shire man’s fine over a dog attack in Billinudgel in January where a man was hospitalised after sustaining severe injuries to his arm, has been increased after an appeal.

The man’s fine was increased from $1500 to $2200 in the Lismore District Court last week after the Director of Public Prosecutions challenged the original court fine at the request of Byron Shire Council.

Two other dog attacks have occurred in Byron Shire over the past few months and the dog owners will face court in coming weeks.

One of the incidents related to a dog attack on a person and the second involved an aggressive dog attacking another dog.

Council’s governance manager, Ralph James, said it was a timely reminder for pet owners about the seriousness of dog attacks, the impacts on people’s lives and the heavy fines that can apply.

Mr James said the two further court cases involved attacks which occurred due to the animals not being restrained either on a leash or in a fenced enclosure.

‘This is of particular concern as one of the dogs had been declared a dangerous dog in another shire,’ he said.

‘It is alleged that the owner had failed to notify either the local Council from where it came, or Byron Shire Council, that the dog would be housed in Byron for a period of time.

‘Under the Companion Animals Act a dog can be declared dangerous if it, without provocation, attacks a person or animal.

‘Once a dog is involved in an attack and is declared dangerous, strict control requirements apply with future fines varying upward from $33,000,’ Mr James said.

Dog owners are reminded that dogs are not allowed to roam or leave a property, must wear a collar, identification tag, be microchipped and be under the control of a competent person at all times when in public places.

Dog owners are required to carry a leash at all times when in leash free areas.  This includes when entering or leaving leash free areas.

A dog attack includes a dog rushing at, attacking, biting, harassing or chasing any person or animal (other than vermin), whether or not injury is caused.

Dog attacks can incur a minimum $550 on the spot fine and but penalties can be as high as a $55,000 fine and/or two years imprisonment for a subsequent attack. Convictions for some dog attack offences can result in permanent disqualification from owning a dog or being in charge of a dog.


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1 COMMENT

  1. Hit ’em and hit ’em hard. There are far too many dog attacks around Australia that see the owners let off with small fines and victims having to get plastic surgery and trauma counselling.
    Dog ownership, particularly where large or vicious dogs are concerned, should require owners to take out personal liability insurance before buying their dogs. Anyone who’s tried to get compensation from some drunken druggy who owns a vicious dog for ‘protection’ knows what I’m talking about.

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