In debate in the Victorian Legislative Assembly, shadow minister for agriculture John Lenders moved a motion yesterday calling for a parliamentary review of breed specific legislation and whether there are more cost effective means of preventing and reducing dog attacks. In this last respect, Mr Lenders mentioned the Calgary model a number of times. This is a real breakthrough. The motion arose during debate on the Domestic Animals Amendment Bill 2013 introduced into the House by the minister for agriculture, Peter Walsh. Debate on the Bill has been adjourned to February 2014. Amongst other things, the Bill provides for shortening the period in which a dog owner may challenge a Council’s declaration that a dog is a restricted breed dog, and the reversal of the onus of proof so that it would be cast upon the owner instead of the Council.
Bill Bruce and our Chair, Graeme McEwen, saw Mr Lenders in October to espouse the merits of the Calgary model and the deficiencies of the BSL model. In addition, Dogs On Trial Victoria had earlier supplied relevant information to the shadow minister.
Accordingly, not only has media opinion in Victoria moved against the BSL model, but now one of the two major political parties is questioning whether there is a better way, plainly with the Calgary model in mind as an alternative.
For the Hansard of Mr Lenders speech on the Domestic Animals Amendment Bill 2013 click here.