Michelle Lensink

Dog gone rip-off

The State Liberals will move to amend Weatherill Government legislation that increases the fine for a dog found ‘wandering at large’ by 300 per cent.

“It is outrageous for the Weatherill Government to slug South Australian dog owners $315 for something as innocent as a child leaving the gate open and the dog wandering down to the local park,” said Shadow Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Michelle Lensink.

“The current fine of $80 is appropriate where a dog that poses no threat to any other living creature has managed to escape from its owner’s home and is found wandering the streets.

“It is instructive that the fine for a dog simply wandering at large will now be the same as the fine for a dog that attacks a person.

“Once again the Weatherill Government is dipping its hands into pockets of struggling families to pay for its budget crisis.

“The State Liberals will also block an identical increase in the fine for dogs that wander onto school grounds.

“These two situations are virtually identical in impact – if the wandering dog presents no danger to the children there is no justification for slugging the owner $315.

“The pertinent issue is not whether the dog wanders into a park or on to a school football oval but whether the dog presents a risk to the children.

“The State Liberals fully support severe penalties for people who fail to properly secure dangerous dogs.

“Equally the increase in fines for persistent dog barking that ruins the lives of neighbours and for people who don’t clean up after their dogs are appropriate.”

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