New laws to protect Queensland’s faithful crime-fighting servants

Published Thursday, 12 August, 2021 at 12:15 PM

Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
The Honourable Mark Ryan

Police Dogs and Police Horses play a vital role in helping to keep the community safe.

The Palaszczuk Government today announced it would introduce tough new laws to protect Police Dogs and Police Horses and impose harsher penalties on those who attack the community’s faithful servants.

Under these proposed new laws, the government will create a new offence targeting people who seriously injure or kill a Police Dog or Police Horse.

The new offence will be a crime, punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment. 

In addition, the Police Commissioner has determined that a new meritorious service award for Police Dogs will be established to acknowledge the important community safety work they do.

Police Minister Mark Ryan said the need for tougher penalties was clearly illustrated by the case in February last year when Police Dog Kaos was stabbed by two offenders.

“PD Kaos was severely wounded and required urgent lifesaving veterinary care.

“The community was shocked by this attack and rightly so, the public has taken a special interest in this matter.

“The on-line community support for Police Dog Kaos and public demands for a more serious offence were quite extraordinary. 

“Recently, PD Kaos received the German Shepherd Dog Council of Australia Outstanding Canine Service Award.

“And now, it’s the government’s strong view, that it is only appropriate that PD Kaos and all his fellow canines and the horses who help to keep the community safe should have a strong law on their side.

“This is another example of the Palaszczuk Government leading the nation on many legislative fronts.

“Queensland has some of the strongest laws in the nation in relation to dangerous sex offenders, Organised Crime and Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs and hoons. 

“And now we are moving to add another layer of support to the faithful servants, our Police Dogs and Police Horses, who help police do their critically important work,” the Minister said.

“I thank the Queensland Police Union for first raising these important laws with me and government.”

Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said our four-legged heroes deserved to be protected with tough penalties. 

“Our Police Dogs and Police Horses work tirelessly alongside our officers to protect the community and they should be protected from anyone who tries to harm them,” Commissioner Carroll said. 

“The bond between a Police Dog and their handler is particularly special and together the crime-fighting partnership is extremely valuable to the entire Service.

“Anyone who tries to hurt our Police Dogs or Police Horses should, as the Queensland Police Union have proposed, be held accountable and face serious consequences. 

“We are grateful for the commitment of the Queensland Police Union and the Government in pursuing the new offence to further protect our invaluable four-legged members of the Service,” Commissioner Carroll said.

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said it was now time to recognise the contributions working animals make to keeping Queensland safe.

“We Queenslanders have a special bond with our animals and no stronger bond exists than between police and the working dogs and working horses who serve alongside them.

“It’s only right we protect our companions who assist police to keep the community safe and I acknowledge the contributions of Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Guy Ford and Sergeant Kerrie Haines who have worked closely with the Queensland Police Union and me to make these laws happen.

“I acknowledge the work of Sergeant Shayne Treasure who has assisted us to develop the Police Dog meritorious service award as well.

“I also thank Police Minister Mark Ryan and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk who have proven yet again they always listen to the Queensland Police Union and are willing to work with us to protect not only police however also our loyal, trustworthy and fearless four-legged friends who serve alongside us to keep Queensland safe.” 

Media contacts 

Minister Ryan’s Office: Ph: (07) 3035 8300

Police Media: Ph: (07) 3015 2444