Monthly Archives: May 2016

Breed Specific Legislation – Part 2

Continuing from yesterday’s post on Breed Specific Legislation in Australia, as part of my final Course Assessment for the ISCP Diploma in Canine Psychology/Behaviour.

Breed-specific legislation

Breed-specific legislation generally refers to laws that target specific breeds of dogs. In Australia there are currently two types of breed-specific legislation:

  1.  Under the Commonwealth customs legislation there is a ban on the importation of several specific breeds of dogs; Japanese Tosa, fila Brasiliero, dogo Argentino, perrode presa Canario, and American Pit Bull Terrier. Importantly, this is a ban on importation and not a prohibition on ownership.
  2.  Most state and territory jurisdictions have placed restrictions upon the ownership of these breeds such as muzzling in public, desexing, and fence and enclosure requirements. Some states and even some local councils have taken the further step of banning the prescribed breeds of dogs completely.

Throughout history, there’s always been a breed of dog that gets demonized, a scapegoat for society to hang the blame on whenever someone gets bitten by a dog. Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Dobermanns all had their turn. Now the short straw has been drawn by the Pit Bull Terrier. Which is ironic, because there isn’t a DNA test that can conclusively confirm if a dog is indeed a Pit Bull, because Pit Bulls are a mixture of one or more of these breeds – the English Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, the American Pit Bull Terrier and the Bull Terrier. Which is good AND bad. Good, because the law cannot prove conclusively that your dog is indeed a Pit Bull and therefore subject it to restrictions reserved for Pit Bulls. Bad, because you cannot prove conclusively that your dog is NOT a Pit Bull.

Basically, any dog that bears a passing resemblance to a Pit Bull, or behaves like one, can be deemed to be a Pit Bull.

The ‘pit bulls’ you meet may be shelter dogs of indeterminate origin or they may have pedigree as American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers (APBT) or more recently, American Bullies – See more at: http://www.badrap.org/breed-history#sthash.9IAXCAAH.dpuf

What are the characteristics of a Pit Bull? Here’s a demonstration of how ridiculous the law can get:

The Queensland government (Australia) has a 22-point identification system that consists of 22 descriptions of a Pit Bull and a rating system of one to three. So, for example, Point Nine is The dog’s eyes are round. If you think the dog’s eyes are round you rate the dog at three and if not, you rate the dog at one. Endangered Dog Breeds Australia (EDBA) demonstrated the flaw in the ID system when they applied it to Pat the Chihuahua. Out of a possible score of 66, Pat scored a total of 50 and, according to Queensland Animal Control Officers, Pat the Chihuahua “substantially meets the description of an American Pit Bull Terrier type”.

(http://www.dogslife.com.au/dog-news/life-with-dogs/breed-specific-legislation)

The tide may be changing, however. Recently on 23rd March 2016, the Herald Sun in Victoria state, Australia reported:

CONTROVERSIAL dangerous dog laws forcing councils to confiscate and kill pit bulls could be overhauled in Victoria, according to a long-awaited Parliamentary report.

The inquiry into the legislative and regulatory framework relating to restricted-breed dogs made 31 recommendations including calling for the government to scrap 2012 legislation which resulted in scores of dogs being put on death row.

The recommendations included:

— Allowing pitbulls to be registered but place other restrictions on owners of restricted breeds.

— Greater penalties for owners of restricted-breed dogs who do not register their dogs.

— Ending the requirement for non-racing greyhounds to be muzzled in public.

— Improved data collection about dog attacks.

Committee chair Joshua Morris said the probe was thorough and urged changes to be implemented as soon as possible.

“What is clear is that a change is required to reduce the number of dog attacks and the injuries resulting from them,’’ he said.

“We heard differing and conflicting viewpoints and we have sought to be objective and balanced in our findings and recommendations.

“The Government should consider the changes recommended by the committee and look at implementing those changes as quickly as possible.”

More than 450 submissions spoke against the laws during the nine month investigation into the issue.

The Australian Veterinary Association told the parliamentary panel DNA profiling was difficult and said animals should be judges on behaviour.

“Assessing whether or not a dog is a restricted breed according to the standard is impossible,’’ said the submission.

“Dogs should be assessed by their behaviour in an incident in which they have been involved — deed not breed.’’

The legislation ordering the death of restricted breeds was rushed through Parliament in 2012 following the death of four-year-old Ayen Chol.

She died after a neighbour’s pit bull-mastiff mauled her as she clung to her mother’s leg at their St Albans home in 2011.

Scores of animals were rounded up by Melbourne councils following the changes.

However, dog owners fought to save their animals prompting three Supreme Court trials and 19 VCAT hearings, costing local councils hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal bills.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/laws-forcing-councils-to-confiscate-kill-pit-bulls-could-be-scrapped/news-story/fcb0e02a2c87cfad61bda81b202fbb40#load-story-comments
(I’ve copied and pasted the contents of the webpage, as when you try to go to the above weblink a second time, it requests that you subscribe to the Herald Sun first instead).

Needless to say, this news has caused quite a backlash amongst the unenlightened public, who choose to believe whatever stories the media has fed them the last few years, since breed specific legislation was introduced in 2012.

NOTE: READ PART 3 AND MY CONCLUSION IN TOMORROW’S POST.

Bully breeds(Image source: Google Images)

Breed Specific Legislation – Part 1

This is from the final Course Assessment of my ISCP Diploma in Canine Psychology/Behaviour. I just have to complete my final Thesis, which by the time you read these posts, I will hopefully have completed and submitted. And who knows, I might have even passed and been awarded the Diploma?!

The Question:

Go to www.doglaw.co.uk or the relevant dog law websites in your country and read through the legal links. Write an essay of between 500 and 1,000 words on how these laws affect dog owners in your area. Conclude with your personal opinion on Breed Specific Legislation, and the reasons for your opinion.

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My Answer:

For this question, I will answer in some places by quoting references from various websites. There is a plethora of information about breed specific legislation around the world, some more accurate than others. For this question, I shall concentrate only on UK and Australian law.

Here’s a breakdown on breed-specific legislation of each different state in Australia:

http://kb.rspca.org.au/is-there-legislation-relating-to-the-ownership-of-specific-breeds-of-dog_286.html

State Yes/No Details of conditions and any associated laws
ACT No
NSW Yes Section 55 of the Companion Animals Act 1988 contains restrictions for the prescribed breeds (see above)

The owners of restricted dogs must comply with the following requirements:

  • The dog must be kept in a child proof enclosure.
  • The dog cannot be in the sole charge of a person under the age of 18 years.
  • One or more signs “ Warning Dangerous Dogs” must be displayed on the boundaries of the property
  • When the dog is away from its normal property it must be under the effective control of a competent person
  • The dog cannot be sold to a person less than 18 years of age
  • The dog owner must notify the Local Council of the following matters
    • That the dog has attacked or injured a person or animal (within 24 hours)
    • That the dog cannot be found (within 24 hours)
    • That the dog has died (as soon as possible)
    • That the dog’s ownership has changed (within 24 hours)
    • That the dog is no longer being ordinarily kept in the area of the council (as soon as possible)
    • That the dog is being ordinarily kept at a different location in the area of the council (as soon as possible)
NT No
QLD Yes Restrictions for the prescribed breeds (see above)
SA Yes Restrictions for the prescribed breeds (see above), must be desexed, muzzled in public, not allowed to be sold or given away
TAS No Restrictions for the prescribed breeds (see above) under Dog Control Act 2000
VIC Yes Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 of the Commonwealth – restricted breed dog

Domestic (Feral & Nuisance) Animals Act 1994: Section 7: Exemptions for Guide Dogs Section 27: Restraint of greyhounds. Section 41G/L: Restraint of restricted breed dogs when on owners premises

Also specific regulations (Catchment & Land Protection Act 1994) regarding keeping of dingoes

WA Yes Federal import ban – Dog Act for dangerous dogs

The following is from the Australian Veterinary Association’s website http://www.ava.com.au/policy/614-breed-specific-legislation

NOTE:

CONTINUED TOMORROW IN PART 2:  Breed-specific legislation

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(Image Source: Google Images)

QUALIFIED!

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Woke up this morning to find this waiting for me.Yay, me! Happy dance! 🎓🎶🖒😄❤

I can’t believe I’ve finished this Diploma Course! It’s been such a pleasure to study, the topic of canine psychology and behaviour is really fascinating and dynamic. The Course itself, with The ISCP, is very well constructed – the Coursework Assessments really make you think. Many thanks to Lisa Tenzin-Dolma, founder and principal of The ISCP, for your friendship and words of encouragement, and to the fabulous people on the ISCP Facebook Group, you guys rock! 👍👍👍

There is a recommended booklist to go through, but you can also read other books too, and while I was doing this Course, the book “Decoding Your Dog” came out, which I highly recommend. Off the top of my head, 2 other books that stood out are “Inside of a dog” by Alexandra Horowitz and “Clever Dog” by Sarah Whitehead. Excellent reading!

When I’m more organised I’ll share the list of recommended reading with you here. For now, I’m going to celebrate becoming a qualified Canine Behaviour Practitioner, and start exploring job options. Who knows where this could lead me? I’m excited! Now to put into practice what I’ve learned.

Water Lilies (Photography)

I took these photos back in the good old days when I had Time to indulge in such leisurely pursuits. I was rearranging the photos on my mobile camera recently and had these filed under “Flowers”. They are water lilies, and they come from Woodvale Fish & Lily Farm.

(These are unedited photos, taken in 2013-2015 using my iPhone 4 and Samsung Galaxy S3. All copyright belongs to and remains with me, AlyZen Moonshadow. Please enjoy looking at them but please do not copy or pass them off as your own. Thanks!)

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Salves to Sooth the Soul

…when you feel battered, tossed about, out of sorts, helpless, unappreciated, isolated, hopeless… Or, when you feel you’ve had enough and need time out to step back, catch your breath and let go of other people’s petty foibles. One can only keep going for so long without needing a break, right?

Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. And yet, I still manage to forget the lesson. When will I ever learn? Time to step off the hamster wheel for a bit…

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I’m not just about dogs…

I’m into cats too. Boo came with the house. I like to joke that the house was free, but we had to get a home loan for Boo. I don’t really know how old he is, the previous owners of the house said he was around 10, but that was 4 years ago. He isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, that’s for sure!

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If it fits, I sits!

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Yawn!! Sleeping on Jack’s hoody.

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What a life!

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It wasn’t me! I blame those dogs.

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I also love tennis balls.

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Damn! It just exploded, honest!

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Mum thinks her Merck Veterinary Dictionary is for studying. I’m gonna sit on that and think about it.

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My favourite cushion.

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Catnip good! Me likey!

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Fat? I’m not fat, just well padded.

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If I looked stoned in this photo, it’s because I am. Catnip rules!

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Top Cat!! ❤❤❤

Just some Inspirational Quotes

Pinterest is my Go To site these days for a lot of things. I’m quite a visual person so Pinterest fits in well with my way of researching subjects.

I’m just sharing these Inspirational Quotes that I’ve curated from Pinterest. Nothing heavy or too thought-provoking, though some may spark off ideas in yourselves.

Enjoy, and have a great day ahead!

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Quirky Ceramics

I wish I had the time and the means, to create hand-thrown ceramics. Sadly, the days when I could’ve dabbled in ceramics have passed me by (I think), and also I am now time-poor as well as financially poor. So, I can’t afford a kiln or even to buy the materials needed – clay, slips, etc. Oh, and I have so many animals and so little free space left that even if I did start throwing ceramics, they’d be covered in dirt, fur or feathers.

So these days I find solace in surfing Pinterest and furiously pinning up anything and everything that catches my eye. I am quite the eclectic magpie, I am. 😉

Just thought I’d share with you some of my favourite quirky ceramics, as seen on Pinterest. These are from my Pinterest board “Ceramics & Pottery”.

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Flowers

I wondered what would happen if I took a background and filled it completely with flower clipart using the App “PicsArt“.

So I did it.

And then I wondered how it would turn out if I used the App “Labelbox” to stick quotes over my floral masterpiece.

So I did it.

I liked the idea, so I made up 8 different images. Easy peasy!

Like so:

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Well, that was fun. Now, feel free to download and share these to your own circles, or to your device or computer. Yes, really.

Enjoy!

Awesome Photographs

Just some inspiring eye-candy, curated from my Pinterest board “Awesome Photos”. For information on any of these images, copyright of which remains with the original photographers, you’ll have to look at my Pinterest board and click on the photos to be taken to their corresponding weblinks.

For now, while the storm rages outside on a grey and dreary day (a really wet and windy one…Winter Is Coming 😄), enjoy these beautiful images.

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