From The Sydney Morning Herald
Queensland will amend its Animal Management Act to clarify that American Staffordshire terriers are not restricted dogs, contrary to a recent court ruling.
The move follows a Queensland Supreme Court case in April which ruled that an American Staffordshire terrier (Amstaff) involved in a case on the Gold was the same as the restricted American Pit Bull terrier breed.
Local Government Minister Desley Boyle said pit bulls had been prohibited by many Queensland councils under their local laws, listed as restricted under state legislation and banned from importation by the Commonwealth.
"The amendment will state categorically that for the purposes of the Act, Amstaffs will not be considered the same as the restricted pit bulls," Ms Boyle said.
She said there were an estimated 4,000 Amstaffs in Queensland, some 230 on the Gold Coast.
"This will give Amstaff owners, especially on the Gold Coast, certainty about their rights and obligations," she said.
"Yet it will give Queenslanders peace of mind that the legislation's tough penalties remain for irresponsible pet owners whose dogs cause fear or harm," she said.
Update September 15, 2010 7:36pm - The following article is by Maria Hatzakis, ABC News:
Qld Parliament declares AmStaf dogs are not restricted
Dog owners and breeders have welcomed new Queensland Government legislation which declares American Staffordshire terriers are not restricted dogs
A Supreme Court ruling recently concluded the breed is the same as American pit bull terriers.
But State Parliament has passed legislation clarifying they are separate breeds.
Dogs Queensland spokeswoman Mark Sheppard says it is a relief for owners.
"What it means is that once and for all the Government has laid to rest the question of whether an AmStaf, as we call them, is the same breed as the restricted pit bull terrier," she said.
"We've maintained all along that they are quite distinctly different breeds and now the government has recognised that."