Pet welfare undermined by mooted collar ban

Aug 22, 2022

Pet welfare undermined by mooted collar ban

Aug 22, 2022

The pronged dog collar ban that is the “jewel in the crown” of the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s animal welfare reforms is likely the most useless legislation to come before the Queensland Parliament this term, Katter’s Australian Party Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter has said.

Mr Katter, speaking in response to Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Mark Furner’s recent admission that in the last 10 years only a single complaint had been made to the RSPCA about the use of the collars resulting in injury to a dog.

Ten other complaints had been made about the collars in the same period, but there was no evidence of harm being caused to a dog as a result and no case of animal cruelty relating to the use of pronged dog collars has proceeded to a prosecution.

Mr Katter said Queensland taxpayers should be furious with Labor for wasting time on such a “non-issue” give the myriad problems facing the State including the crime epidemic, health crisis and spiralling cost-of-living pressures.

“This ban is ideologically-driven by a Government that treats Queenslanders like neat collection of cohesive focus groups that can each be appeased by token gestures and lip-service – it is truly offensive,” he said.

“The worst part about this proposed ban, however, is that it is very likely to negatively impact on animal welfare if it goes though.

“Many accredited dog trainers are strong in their view that taking this tool out of the mix for dealing with certain dogs will drastically impact the options available for managing them and providing them a better quality of life.

“How the Government can see this cause are worthwhile is beyond me.”

Kirsty Reid, from Dog Training Queensland, is an animal lover and an accredited dog trainer who has a degree in zoology

Ms Reid said the proposed ban would do more harm than good.

“Animal behaviour is both my profession and my passion, and I love to assist others to understand their dog’s behaviour,” she said.

“The welfare of my clients and their dogs is my highest priority, and I do take umbrage with the proposed outright ban of pronged dog collars.

“Used correctly under the guidance of a trained professional they are an effective tool to create and promote better behaviour choices in dogs, help dogs effectively relate to the world around them and to support people in managing and communicating with their cherished pets.

“Dogs and their owners will suffer without access to this tool, behavioural problems will increase as will owner surrenders and behavioural euthanasia.”

Ms Reid believes regulation of the training tool would be a workable way forward.

“I propose that we look at a framework of regulation for the use of prong collars, to encompass accredited professional trainers and persons training under their guidance,” she said.

“Currently the Brisbane City Council (BCC), Australia’s largest council, has the highest volume of dog ownership within Australia.

“The BCC has requested the Parliament oppose the proposed ban and have recommended regulated use of the collar by approved individuals, for example accredited trainers and regulated individuals.

“I support the BCC’s proposal regarding regulated use of the prong collar by accredited trainers and regulated individuals.”

The KAP is currently drafting amendments to the Animal Care and Protection Act Amendment Bill 2022, which would include providing exemptions to the pronged dog collar ban for accredited animal trainers and persons training under their guidance.

The amendments would also include implementing a two-year delay on any plans by the Government to ban yellow phosphorous poison, or CSSP, given the current biosecurity risks posed by Queensland’s rampant feral pig population.