Tougher dangerous dog laws put the bite on irresponsible owners

Published Thursday, 18 April, 2024 at 06:30 PM

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities
The Honourable Mark Furner

  • More than $7million committed to community safety
  • Tough new jail terms for irresponsible owners of dogs that attack
  • Promise kept after thousands of Queenslanders backed tougher laws

The Queensland Government has delivered on its pledge to institute tougher dangerous dog laws, with passage of legislation through State Parliament today (April 18, 2024).

After thousands of Queenslanders lodged formal submissions or completed surveys backing a tougher approach, the new laws mean irresponsible owners of dogs that attack and cause serious injury or death can now face jail terms.

The changes will include:

  • Maximum fines for failure to take reasonable steps to ensure a dog does not attack to double to more than $92,000;
  • Maximum fines up to $108,000 and up to three years jail for the owner of a dog that kills or seriously injures a person; and
  • Bans on five dog breeds, namely Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Japanese Tosa, American pit bull terrier or pit bull terrier, and the Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario.

The changes come after a review of the Animal Management (Cats & Dogs) Act 2008 and recommendations of a taskforce including the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), participating local governments, the Local Government Association of Queensland and RSPCA Queensland.

The changes will be supported with a $7.57 million funding package, which will provide more coordinated, consistent and effective government action in response to dog attacks, and support dog management initiatives in First Nations communities. 

The funding will also include a community education and awareness campaign rolled out over three years to build responsible dog ownership, prevent dog attacks, and reduce the risk of harm from dog attacks.

As well as updating the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act, passage of the Agriculture and Fisheries and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (2023) also:

  • Introduced the framework to implement onboard monitoring in the commercial fishing sector;
  • Enabled greater cross-checking between the Queensland Fisheries authorities and other agencies;
  • Adjusted laws on industrial cannabis to enable licensed growers to supply plant material and seeds to licenced testers for agronomic and seed testing analysis;
  • Supports a growing aquaculture industry through the creation of a new aquaculture authority;
  • Broadens the offence of obstructing an authorised fisheries officer from carrying out their roles to include abusive and intimidatory behaviour; and
  • Extends the maximum time a Biosecurity Emergency Order can be in place to 42 days (up from 21).

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner:

“Queenslanders told us they wanted tougher laws to combat dangerous dogs and the Miles Government has delivered.

“We worked with local governments, the LGAQ and RSPCA Queensland through an Animal Management Taskforce that recommended meaningful changes to these laws.

“Queenslanders backed these changes in their thousands, and we can say to them that the Miles Government has delivered for them – on time and as promised.

“We will keep working with the community to get the message out about these new laws and help people with at-risk dogs to comply to make the community safer.

“We will always put the safety of Queenslanders first and that’s what these important reforms will deliver.”


Media contact: Martin Philip 0407 675 008