AN IPSWICH family threatened by four dogs that broke through a neighbour's fence into their yard want clearer guidelines to define "a dangerous dog".

Brassall resident John de Graaf was left fuming when Ipswich City Council initially refused to remove four large St Bernard dogs from his yard because they had not attacked a person.

Under current state legislation dogs can be defined as "dangerous" or "menacing".

A dog can only be deemed dangerous after it seriously attacks a person or another animal.

A dog is defined as menacing if it causes fear and an attack is not serious.

An attack was something Mr de Graaf feared was a possibility as the four St Bernards attempted to enter his home.

Mr de Graaf was fearful of his children's safety and believes such legislation only increases the chance of dog attacks.

"The dogs beat the fence down and I contacted the council. But because they hadn't bitten anyone ... they wouldn't take them away," he said.

INSET: Four dogs demolished a panel of boundary fencing.
INSET: Four dogs demolished a panel of boundary fencing. Contributed

"They should be trying to prevent the attacks."

Mr de Graaf said he was angry when council officers would not remove the dogs in the first instance.

Health and Community Safety Committee chair Councillor Andrew Antoniolli would not comment on specifics because the matter was still under investigation.

Cr Antoniolli said the definition of "dangerous" and "menacing" dogs are bound by state law.

"Following this complaint, council officers attended and were satisfied that dogs could be safely secured on the owner's property, however all dogs were removed the following day by arrangement with the owner," he said.

"Two have since been returned to the owner now that council is satisfied they will be safely secured at all times. These dogs present no further risk to the public and council is continuing to monitor the situation."

The process to declare a dog as dangerous is a lengthy one.

Information on the legislation and basis for a determination of a dangerous dog can be found in Chapter 4 of the Queensland Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act of 2008.



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