All reports of attacks on a person or animal, as well as other incidents of dog attacks in the Hawkesbury will be investigated by Council Officers. To progress with any case, the actual attack must have been witnessed, and the animals able to be identified. The witness of the attack must be willing to complete a statutory declaration and appear in court as a witness for Council, if necessary.
Just sighting a dog in their property when there is a dead animal present is not sufficient evidence, nor is having dogs continually enter their property, and then assuming the attack was caused by these animals. The standard of proof for a dog attack is the criminal standard of ‘beyond reasonable doubt’.
Council does not have the power to ask someone to destroy their animal after an attack. The Court is the only authority who can order an owner to destroy their animal.
Council can declare a dog dangerous or menacing, following which, the owner must abide by the Companion Animal Act and Regulations, which places restrictions on owning a declared dangerous or menacing dog. The restrictions must be complied with, or they can surrender the animal to Council.
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