Monday, May 24, 2010

Queensland Supreme Court: Council doggone confused by pit bull ruling

A Supreme Court decision has bequeathed it about 126 legal problems it could do without.

The council has legally registered around 126 American Staffordshire terriers which the Supreme Court in Queensland has deemed are actually American pit bulls.

The problem is, pit bulls are illegal in Ipswich under state and local laws.

The city's health and regulation committee chairman Andrew Antoniolli said the redefinition of the American Staffordshire was the result of a drawn-out court case on the Gold Coast.

"We are concerned that we have at least 126 of the 30,000 dogs registered in Ipswich which were identified on their registration as American Staffordshire terriers," Mr Antoniolli said.

However, the Supreme Court has deemed they are actually the same breed as American pit bulls.

The American pit bull terrier breed has been implicated in a number of serious and sometimes fatal dog attacks on people, as well as on other animals.

For the time being the registrations of American Staffordshire terriers will remain while Ipswich council seeks advice.

"We understand the Department of Infrastructure and Planning has sought legal advice and will forward that advice to councils for their information once they receive it," Mr Antoniolli said.

"We eagerly await that advice and will maintain the status quo until we hear from them."

Mr Antoniolli said the court ruling would also impact on other councils in Queensland which have taken a similar stand on the breed, or breeds.

And spare a thought for the 126-odd American Staffordshire terriers.

Under Queensland law, pit bulls, if that's what the "staffies" are, must be desexed.

Queensland Consumer Watch

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