Dog kills goat, ruled dangerous

VCAT has upheld a decision to declare a dog dangerous after it escaped and killed a pet goat, despite wearing an electronic containment collar. 

The owner of the dog appealed the Macedon Ranges Shire Council decision after pleading guilty last year to the attack.

The Mount Macedon man was fined $1500. 

The appeal was heard at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal in early April this year and dismissed on May 8. 

The dog must now be confined in an enclosure, wear a prescribed identifiable collar, and be on a lead and muzzled at all times when off the property.

The owner must also display signage on the property. 

The council’s assets and operations director Dale Thornton said that council had decided to declare the dog dangerous in the interests of community safety. 

“A dog attacking livestock or other animals is a serious community safety issue. We are pleased that council’s decision has been upheld,” he said. 

Under the Domestic Animals Act 1994, all dog owners must securely confine dogs to the property. 

Yards must have a closed gate and an escape-proof fence that dogs cannot jump, get under or through. 

Mr Thornton said electronic confinement collars could not be relied on to confine dogs

“Unfortunately, these electronic collars are not fail-safe," he said.

"Batteries can wear out or the dog may still escape despite the shock of the collar."

He reminded people of the restrictions surrounding electronic collars, which fall under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. 

Law states that the dog must be over six months of age and examined by a vet to determine suitability for electronic collars.

Collars cannot be worn for more than 12 hours in any 24-hour period, and dogs must be introduced to the collar through a certified training program. 

People for Ethical Treatment of Animals discouraged pet owners from using electronic shock collars, saying they were cruel. 

For more information about responsible pet ownership, go to depi.vic.gov.au

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