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Fonzie's freedom opens up a can of worms.

Discussion in 'Dogs - Pit bull breeds specific' started by tybrax, Nov 25, 2004.

  1. tybrax

    tybrax New Member

    FONZIE'S FREEDOM OPENS A CAN OF WORMS.

    A COURT DECISION LAST WEEK TO FREE FONZIE, THE ALLEGED PITBULL
    HAS THROWN THE SPOTLIGHT ON TO THE COUNCILS DANGEROUS DOG LAWS.

    As Fonzie slipped out of his master's back-yard one July afternoon and into the hands of the council's dog catchers, he could not have possibly known the series
    of events he had started. No one could have.

    No on could of known just how hard his owner, Justin Taylor, was prepared
    to fight to win him back, or just how easily the council's laws would fall apart
    under legal scrutiny.
    Fonzie's landmark reprieve, with his heart warming reunion with Mr Taylor.
    A qaudriplegic who relied on his "best mate" for companionship, has the
    potential to see a complete overhaul of the council's dog laws.

    Already other lawyers have contacted the Bulletin, admitting they plan to use the
    a similar defence to the one that led to Fonzie's freedom.
    The concern is that the Council's Animal Control Officers, through no fault of their
    own, did not have the proper qualifications to judge what type of breed a dog was.
    And that the criteria they were using was far to subjective.

    Using a standardised test, a dog needs only a 70 per cent to be offically
    declared a certain breed.
    As one lawyer who plans to bring the law under scrutiny for a similar case argued,
    that is not good enough.

    "you can say that they are 71% certain the dog is a pitbull, which is the same as saying the they are 29% completely uncertain that it is a pitbull"he said.
    "That its a ridiculous situation"

    Clearly Coolangatta Magistrate Jennifer Batts agreed when she ordered that the destruction order on fonzie's head be quashed. She found a One-Day training
    seminar did not make council officers experts in identifying dog breeds and alluded to the notion that the council's dog law's had major problems.

    THE COUNCIL IS THE FIRST TO ADMIT THE LAWS ARE FLAWED.

    But Health and Community Safety Chairwoman Sue Robbins remains
    unapologetic about the council's tough stance on roaming and dangerous dogs.
    "People are saying we got it wrong on this occassion but if that dog had bitten
    someone, everyone would of been up in arms blaming us for allowing dog's to be on the loose,"she said.

    "Its a situation where we have to find a balance, but people's safety comes first".
    People are drawn to dogs and there is something that tugs at the heartstrings
    about the idea of somebody's pet sitting on death row.
    However, ask any of the Gold Coasters that have been mauled by savage dog's
    over the past few years and they will say the council needs to be tough,perhaps
    even tougher then they already are.

    Legialation outlawing dangerous dogs are the passion of the council's previous
    Mayor, Gary Baildon. He believed as most do, that people should be able to walk the streets without being mauled by unrestained dogs's.
    Four types of dogs, including the pitbull's are banned on the Gold Coast and the new leigislation has already led to the destruction of almost 70 dogs, which were
    identified as dangerous under the council's questionaire method.

    The test scores dog's on a one, two, and three point basis in relation to specific
    questions.
    If , for instance, the dog has a strong pronounced jawline, it would score a three
    on that question, while if it did not , it would perhaps score a one.
    Oher dogs have been forced out of the city as an alternative to having the animal destroyed.

    Private investigater Mr X-Doe is one dog owner who had to move his animal
    South of the Border to escape the death penalty, but believed the council's
    70% system was bound to fail.
    He is an American Stafforshire and spent 4months in the council pound after being identified as a pit bull terrier by the council's animal control officers.

    Unlike Mr Taylor, who's Barrister Jack Pappas worked on the case pro-bono, Mr x
    was not able to take the matter to court and eventually settled for moving dog
    out of the state. His dog, declared illegal on the Gold Coast, was registered as a
    Staffordshire in NSW without a problem.

    "It took them 5 seconds to identify him as a staffie" he said.


    GOLD COAST BULLETIN
    13TH NOV 2004.


    TYBRAX
    :eek:
     

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