13 Sep 2010: DPI confirm that we’re right and say they’ll update the misleading advice soon.

21 Sep 2010: DPI have still not responded to our emails about the two remaining incorrect statements on their site.

28 Sep 2010: DPI have advised us that they’ve updated their website and notified councils of their error however councils still do not have the new identification “Standard” referred to in their materials.

Victoria’s Department of Primary Industries is providing information to Councils and the public on the new “Dangerous Dogs” laws that we believe to be misleading.

Given that these laws may result in the killing of family pets who have not committed any offence other than looking like a American Pit Bull Terrier (or crossbreed) we think it’s important that the laws are not misinterpreted by Council officers making declarations or by dog owners.

While most of us use the web to find information, few of us read the actual law. The DPI have recently published a page entitled:

New laws for Restricted Breed Dogs

which states that:

Note that it is still illegal to purchase or acquire a Restricted Breed Dog in Victoria.

We see nothing in the Act the prevents the transfer of ownership of a Restricted Breed Dog except to a minor. 13 Sep 2010 DPI removed this line from advice on their web page

41K Prohibition on transfer of ownership of restricted
breed dogs to minors
    The owner of a restricted breed dog must not sell,
    give or otherwise transfer ownership of the dog to
    another person who is less than 17 years of age.

It’s our understanding that the DPI have not yet produced the new identification “Standard” for American Pit Bull Terriers. Why are the public being directed to contact their council when the new standard doesn’t exist? 1 Oct 2010 DPI has still not responded to our queries on this issue.

Contact your local Council for more information, including help in determining whether your dog fits the new identification "Standard" for Restricted Breed Dogs.

The DPI also claims that owners of a Restricted Breed Dog can only register it with their local Council if they can prove they owned it prior to the law being enacted on 1 Sep 2010.

From [date] you will have two years to declare and register your Restricted Breed Dog with your local Council, if you haven’t already done so (as long as you can prove you owned and kept this dog in Victoria prior to [date]).

The Act does not require that you owned the dog prior to the 1 Sep 2010 for you to register it during the two year amnesty period (ends 30 Aug 2012). It only requires that the dog was in Victoria at this time. 28 Sep 2010 DPI has corrected this error on their website and notified councils.

Registration of dangerous and restricted breed dogs

(1A) A Council may register a dog as a restricted breed
(a) in the period that is 2 years after the
commencement of section 7 of the Domestic
Animals Amendment (Dangerous Dogs)
Act 2010, if the dog was in Victoria
immediately before that commencement; and
(b) on or after the end of the period specified in
paragraph (a), if—
(i) the dog was in Victoria immediately
before the commencement referred to
in paragraph (a); and
(ii) the dog was registered as another breed
of dog immediately before the end of
the period specified in paragraph (a).