Statement regarding Victoria’s proposed dangerous dog legislation

Media release date: 
Wednesday, 31 August 2011

A statement from the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) regarding Victoria’s proposed dangerous dog legislation.

Dr Susan Maastricht, Victorian President of the Australian Veterinary Association, said:

“Our thoughts go out to anyone who has suffered from a dog attack, and the death of a child is particularly distressing.

“The AVA believes the legislation proposed in Victoria is not a long term solution. The risk is this could lull the community into a false sense of security and do little to address the overall problem of dog bites.

“We are very concerned that innocent families and family pets will become scapegoats when they’ve done nothing wrong.

“It’s important to recognise that most dogs don’t bite, and only a tiny proportion of dogs are aggressive.

“However, effective control and management of these aggressive dogs is absolutely necessary through regulation that works. Owners must be held responsible for the education, control and actions of their dogs.

“Dogs of any breed known to be aggressive and potentially dangerous must be properly housed and restrained.

“But just declaring that some breeds are dangerous and others aren’t is misleading.

“All dogs need to be socialised with other dogs and people at an early age and no child under 10 years should ever be left alone with a dog, even the familiar family pet.”

Link to related AVA media release Vets say ban the deed not the breed

For further information and requests for interviews contact the AVA media office on (02) 9431 5062, 0439 628 898 or

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is the only national association representing veterinarians in Australia. Founded in 1921, the AVA today represents 9000 members working in all areas of animal science, health and welfare.

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