Dog attacks in Gympie so far this year fall slightly under 2017's figures.
Dog attacks in Gympie so far this year fall slightly under 2017's figures. Yuriy Zelenenkyy

Feral beasts galore, but what about dog attacks in Gympie?

GYMPIE has seen a young schoolboy terrorised by an angry wild boar and a local truckie mauled by an enormous feral cat so far this year, but domestic dog attacks look to be trending south.

Gympie Regional Council statistics for recorded dog attacks show 63 incidents to date in 2018, at an estimated rate of 11.45 per month.

Those figures fall just short in comparison to last year's 145 total attacks, or 12.08 per month on average.

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A council spokeswoman outlined the comprehensive processes carried out once domestic dog attacks are reported.

"Staff will immediately contact the customer to understand the circumstances of the incident.

"The investigating officer will then attend the property to gather evidence. This can include photographs of the injuries to the customer, or customer's animal, seizure of physical evidence and seizure of the offending dog, if still at large at the scene.

"The dog may be taken from its owner if deemed to be a threat to public safety.”

Council say pet owners must keep their dogs leashed at all times when out.
Council say pet owners must keep their dogs leashed at all times when out. Nicole Fuge

Council said the outcomes of such attacks range from "no further action” based on lack of evidence or customer's wishes, "to declaring the attacking dog 'menacing' or dangerous' and potential prosecution”.

"Attacks involving serious injuries to a person or the death of an animal where supporting evidence exists may become a matter for the Magistrates Court,” the spokeswoman said.

"If the attacking dog has been seized during the investigation, it may remain impounded while due process is completed.”

While council rangers occasionally deal with feral-animal related incidents, there are no statistics kept for attacks.

The spokeswoman said council views dog attacks and wandering dogs as a "serious matter” and . . "work to educate and advise members of the public on dog-related matters through (educational) programs such as PetPep which discusses ways to prevent dog attacks, minimise wandering, and ensure fences and gates are maintained.

"The community also has a significant responsibility to minimise the potential for dog attacks through responsible pet ownership, which safeguards both the safety of pets and people.

"Dogs should always be well cared for, enclosed within the resident's yard, and when out - must be on a lead.”

For more information on responsible pet ownership, visit council's website: https://www.gympie.qld.gov.au/animal-management

Gympie Times


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