Data reveals huge spike in dog attacks across Douglas Shire (copy 1)


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Off leash areas for dogs is one of many topics being discussed among the Douglas Shire community. IMAGE: Pinterest.

IT has been revealed reported dog attacks across the Douglas Shire have spiked alarmingly this year.

Statistics obtained by Newsport show there has been 65 dog attack complaints made to local Council in 2016, up from 39 for the previous year.

The statistics incorporate dog attacks on other animals, along with people. Although data on the worst offending dog breeds was not available, Sustainable Communities Manager at the Douglas Shire Council, Paul Hoye, said the type of dog generally made little difference.

“From experience, Local Laws Officers have observed that the breed of a dog is of little to no consequence when it comes to attacks,” he said.

“Environmental and social factors, including how a dog is kept, exercised, trained etc, will often be the main contributing factors.

“Obviously, larger breeds have the potential to do more damage and are often the cause of more serious attacks. However, Council does investigate reports regarding attacks by smaller terrier type breeds.”

The statistics come on the back of ongoing community concern surrounding the regulation of careless pet owners. There's been numerous incidents of people and pets being attacked by dogs in recent months, including at Four Mile Beach, Port Gardens and Mossman.

All dogs throughout the state are required by law to be registered, however Newsport readers continue to question its enforcement.

Hoye said Council’s local law officers would be launching a new education campaign next year focusing, but it would focus on land north of the Daintree River.

“Council’s Local Laws Officers regularly conduct patrols and routinely respond to requests for collection of stray dogs,” he said.

“Local Laws Officers will be launching an education campaign early in the New Year visiting every property north of the Daintree River to survey locals on their experiences with dogs and cassowaries in the Daintree Rainforest, which will help inform future strategies on animal management and cassowary preservation in the Douglas Shire.”

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