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Committee established to look into fighting dogs



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MINISTER FOR RESOURCES

The Federal Minister for Resources, Mr Alan Griffiths, today announced.that he had set in train a review of Government policy in relation to the importation of pit bull terriers and similar specially bred fighting dogs.

This announcement follows recent horrific attacks by fighting dogs in Britain, and the subsequent announcement that the British Government had banned imports of these breeds.

Mr Griffiths said the review would be undertaken by the Government's Primary Industries and Resources Committee, under the chairmanship of Mr Brian Courtice, Member for Hinkler.

The Committee will report back on what options are available to the Federal Government to ensure that all public health and safety matters are addressed in relation to importation of dogs.

"Over recent months, as Minister responsible for quarantine matters, I have received a number of representations from Members of Parliament calling for a ban of imports of these animals," Mr Griffiths said.

"Some months ago I sought and have now received advice from my Department in relation to this issue.

"There are difficulties associated with banning the importation of the pit bull terriers, however I am concerned that public health and safety matters are properly addressed.

"There have been some ghastly attacks on people. The dangers these dogs pose to people are very real if they are not managed properly by their owners.

"While the overwhelming majority of owners are of course sensible, ownership and control of such dogs requires a great deal of responsibility. Apparently not all owners are up to the demands placed on them to ensure public safety.

"The fact is that these dogs are bred and used for fighting, and there have been a number of very serious attacks on people. The recent spate of attacks, particularly the savage mauling of a yough girl in Britain, simply reinforce my case to see these

issues addressed by Government.

"The question is, should these dogs be allowed to be imported, and if they are, should further responsibilities be vested in the owners." , ...............

I COMMONWEALTH

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