The state government should introduce mandatory desexing for dogs, a Hunter-based animal welfare group says.
The call follows a state report released this month that said 21,670 dogs were euthanised in NSW in 2010-11, which represented 33per cent of all dogs impounded.
The Newcastle Herald recently reported a savage dog attack on Mirrabooka’s Natalie Southam, aged 19.
Two American Staffordshire terriers jumped two-metre fences and attacked Ms Southam on Friday, May 11, leaving her with wounds to her ear, back of the neck and arms that required 19 stitches.
The Society of Companion Animal Rescuers spokeswoman Callie Redman said such incidents should prompt the government to introduce mandatory dog desexing and a licensing system for breeders.
‘‘I don’t like breeding full stop. I despise it,’’ Ms Redman said.
‘‘There’s too many animals living in horrendous conditions and dying every day.’’
Lake Macquarie mayor and MP Greg Piper said he backed licences for breeders and mandatory desexing for dogs of non-registered breeders.
The state government has established the Companion Animals Taskforce, which Charlestown MP Andrew Cornwell, a veterinarian, chairs.
Mr Cornwell said the taskforce had released a discussion paper, which recommended the introduction of a breeder licensing system.
But he said an incentive-based desexing system was recommended, rather than a mandate.
The taskforce’s recommendation involves a rebate for owners who desex their animals within three months of registration.
He believed the move would be ‘‘far more effective’’ than a mandate.
Cr Piper said he would examine why the taskforce was ‘‘shying away’’ from mandatory desexing.
‘‘I imagine it might be a regulatory problem, but the state government is willing to regulate in other areas for community risk,’’ he said.
Cr Piper said the taskforce seemed to be using the ‘‘carrot as opposed to the stick’’ in the case of owners desexing dogs.
But he said the carrot approach may not work.
‘‘Many of the people who are irresponsible in the way they breed dogs are probably not going to be attracted by an incentive,’’ he said.
‘‘There seems to be some machismo associated with having fertile dogs.’’
Ms Redman said the government should put a stop to puppy farms.
‘‘Animals are suffering at the hands of people using them like factory machines and pumping out puppies for profit,’’ she said.