Campaigners for dog breed equality with the emphasis put on the deed not the breed have claimed a victory in Australia as Victoria is set to lift the ban on Pit bulls next year amending their Domestic Dogs Act of 1994.

Previously banned, they will have to be leashed and muzzled when in public and properties secure when at home.

The government review of the act says:

The government will review legislative and implementation options in order to allow the registering of pit bulls and other restricted breed dogs. The government will retain existing restrictions relating to all restricted breed dogs, including the requirements to be securely contained within an owner’s property and to be leashed and muzzled when in public.

The government supports the Committee’s position that ‘current bans on the breeding of pit bulls should also remain in place’, while ‘pit bulls that do not have an identifiable owner should be able to be seized and destroyed’.

Introduction of temperament testing for dogs after dog attacks

Also discussed was the recommendation that the government develop a “system to accredit agencies and individuals to conduct temperament tests on dogs to identify potentially dangerous dogs. Accreditation would provide prospective owners with assurance that the temperament testing undertaken by the agency or individual is of an appropriate standard.”

This wasn’t agreed as it was decided that there is not a good enough worldwide test based on research to predict canine aggression in all or most situations because “the scientific literature suggests existing tests are not highly predictive or reliable. Most dogs that attack have never done so before”. As a result, the government felt it couldn’t implement a test and accredit others to carry out.

Changing perceptions of Greyhounds 

Parliament also discussed topics surrounding Greyhound racing, temperament testing and rehoming of the breed saying it will investigate “feasibility of introducing a program similar to the New South Wales Greenhounds program” and has noted the recommendation to de-muzzle non-racing Greyhounds removing section 27(1)(a) of the Domestic Animals Act 1994 saying, “the government recognises that breed specific legislation concerns many in the community.”

On this point it concluded, “the government considers that a complete review of the muzzling and leashing policy must be completed before any decision to relax these requirements is made.”

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