The West

Flashback: The West Australian’s coverage of the attack.
Flashback: The West Australian’s coverage of the attack.

One of three bull Arab-mastiffs which mauled a six-year-old girl in Rockingham earlier this month was originally registered to a Mid West property.

It is believed it had been registered as a working dog and used for pig hunting.

The dog has since been put down.

“We were saddened and concerned when we heard the dog had been licensed here,” said a Mid West council official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“A lot of people in our area breed dogs for pig hunting, as there are a lot of feral pigs about.

“The dog and its owners were no longer living in our area, but City of Rockingham rangers contacted us to advise that the dog had been taken off our register and had been euthanased.”

The official said the incident highlighted the problems councils faced in tracking dog ownership.

Under current legislation, owners of dogs declared dangerous in one municipality can simply move to another area and are not required to declare their dog is dangerous.

That way restrictions such as muzzling can be avoided.

“It is too easy for owners of dogs that have been declared dangerous to get off the hook and simply relocate with the dog,” the official said.

The official hoped such loopholes would be closed under the State Government’s Dog Amendment Bill, which proposes tougher curbs on dangerous dog breeds.

These include prohibiting the breeding and sale of dangerous breeds, sterilisation of dangerous breeds and increased penalties for dog owners who breach the Act.

The father of the six-year-old girl called for tighter laws after the attack.

“If a dog can’t differentiate between a little girl and a pig, there’s an issue,” Bruce Wicksteed told The West Australian.

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