The death of a five-year-old boy who was mauled by a dog on the Gold Coast has led to calls for a national inquiry into the keeping of powerful dog breeds.
Manny, 5, was attacked by an English bull terrier-American bulldog cross on Christmas Eve and died later on an operating table after being rushed to hospital.
A fundraising page for Manny’s family of Manny, 5, had raised more than $20,000 by Tuesday afternoon.
The latest incident of a child being killed by a dog in Australia has led to calls for greater restrictions on powerful breeds.
Tributes have poured in for five-year-old Emmanuel, known as Manny (pictured) who was killed by a dog on Christmas Eve
‘There needs to be a debate or inquiry about how to handle the upbringing, breeding and training of powerful dog breeds dogs,’ the vet, who wishes to remain anonymous, told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Currently in Australia any person can own and breed any unrestricted type of dog without limitation regardless of their physical strength and with any level of experience of dog ownership from being a first time pet owner to an accomplished owner that has had dogs their whole life,’ he said.
The vet said some dog breeding in Australia is ‘unscrupulous’.
‘This is something we need to have a discussion about nationally and to debate the pros and cons of restricting the unscrupulous breeding of these breeds and perhaps also being more selective with the type of dogs people with no experience or no commitment to proper training, especially in urban and suburban settings where dog attacks are prevalent.’
He welcomed changes to dog ownership laws that are coming in in Queensland on January 1, but also cautions that the law could go too far in some instances.
The law change will make it mandatory for regulated dogs including restricted breeds, declared dangerous dogs and declared menacing dogs, to wear a distinctive red and yellow collar with reflective stripes.
‘This is a fantastic idea that I say “bravo” to the Queensland government and would strongly encourage other states and their Offices of Local Governments to do the same to keep the community safe,’ the vet said.
‘It certainly is a logical step in the right direction, but I would not like to see a dog exhibiting normal dog behaviour – for example chasing a cat – to be slapped with a “menacing dog” order that is so easy for council rangers to give out, having to be subjected to this collar mandate of sorts.’
Gold Coast City Council animal control officers removed two dogs from the property, including an English bull terrier-American bulldog cross
The type of dog that killed Manny is not included on Queensland’s list of restricted dogs, but individual animals can be deemed regulated by council officers.
The attack has also renewed calls for more dangerous breeds to banned in Australia.
Manny died during an operation at Gold Coast University Hospital just hours after he was rushed there following the attack.
He had been staying with his grandmother who was house-sitting in Varsity Lakes when the dog attacked him, biting his neck and back.
RESTRICTED DOGS IN QUEENSLAND
You must not keep a restricted dog unless the relevant local government has issued you a restricted dog permit.
Under the Customs Act 1901, the following breeds are restricted dogs:
- Fila Brasileiro
- Japanese Tosa
- American pit bull terrier or pit bull terrier
- Dogo Argentino
- Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario
Source: Queensland government
Manny’s grandmother quickly tried to free him from the dog’s grip, sustaining arm injuries.
A neighbour who witnessed the horror attack jumped a fence and also tried desperately tried to save the little boy.
Queensland Ambulance said the five-year-old was bitten on the back and chest before going into cardiac arrest.
While English bull terrier-American bulldog crosses are not listed as a ‘restricted’ dog in Queensland, state law says that ‘an authorised local government officer can declare a dog to be dangerous or menacing’.
The declaration can be made if a dog ‘has attacked, or acted in a way that caused fear to, a person or another animal or may, in the opinion of an authorised person having regard to the way the dog has behaved towards a person or another animal, seriously attack or act in a way that causes fear to a person or animal.’
Once a dog has been declared dangerous or menacing or if it is a restricted dog, the owner must keep a distinctive collar with a yellow identification tag with the words ‘Regulated Dog’ on the dog at all times.
From Saturday, January 1, the regulations are being further tightened in the state.
The distinctive collar must meet be yellow and red striped with a yellow identification tag, each stripe must be 25 millimetres wide and set diagonal to the rim of the collar at an angle of 45 degrees, at least one of the colours must be sufficiently reflective to be visible in low light.
The collar must also be made of durable materials and be securely fastened to the dog.
Craig Kavanagh, who describes himself as a friend of the family, has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Manny’s single father.
‘Angus is a single father who is very dedicated to providing the best for his little bud. Manny was Angus’ world. His love for his son was immeasurable,’ he wrote.
‘We are trying to raise funds to help Angus in this tragically difficult time. Manny was a treasure and what has happened has left a lot of people in shock and sadness.’
‘Sending love and prayers to all of the family,’ one donor wrote.
Gold Coast City Council animal control officers removed two dogs from the property, including an English bull terrier-American bulldog cross.
The mixed breed remains in a council pound as police continue their inquiries.
The city council and the Coroner will also launch their own investigations.
The five-year-old’s grandmother and a neighbour who witnessed the horror attack and jumped a fence, desperately tried to save the little boy (pictured, Gold Coast suburb Varsity Lakes)