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2011

Negotiated Study: Dog Laws

Jessica Lockett Legal Studies 2 4th November, 2011.

~Legal studies negotiated study ~
Australian Dog Laws

INTRODUCTION With the recent death of Ayen Chol in Victoria, controversy relating to pit bulls in Australia has risen. Local Councils are setting rules in place with the aim to breed pit bulls into extinction within a decade . With the Victorian Councils largely targeting pit bulls, I decided to look into dog attacks and dog related deaths in Australia. The full extent of a dog bite injury is difficult to measure as there are no reporting requirements in Australia. The death of Ayen Chol is only the second death in Australia by a dog described as a pit bull, which makes it seem very unfair that pit bulls are the main dog breed being targeted as surveys have concluded that pit bulls are not the most frequent dog breed related to dog attacks.

RESTRICTED & DANGEROUS DOGS (REGULATIONS)

A dangerous dog is a dog that the local council has declared dangerous due to the dog causing a serious injury to a person or animal. Restricted Breeds are breeds that have been banned from importation into Australia (Restricted Breeds FAQ, Department of premier and cabinet, Tasmania).

PREVIOUS REGULATIONS Dog Control Act, 2000 (www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/tas/consol_act/dca2000134/) SECTION 19 1. If a dog that is not under the effective control of a person on private premises, or that is not under the effective control of a person in a public place, rushes at or chases any person, the owner of the dog is guilty of an offence. 4. If a dangerous dog or a restricted breeds dog, that is not a guard dog guarding non residential premises, attacks or bites any person or animal, the owner of the dog is guilty of an offence.

5. If a dog attacks a person, the owner of the dog must notify the council within 24 hours after the attack. 9. If the owner of the dog is found guilty of an offence under this section, the court may order that the dog be destroyed. SECTION 19A 1. If a dangerous dog that has attacked an animal or a person subsequently attacks any animal or person, an authorised officer may seize and detain the dog. 2. The general manager may destroy a dog seized and detained under subsection 1. 3. The general manager, by notice in writing served on the owner of the dog, is to notify the owner of the general manager s decision to destroy the dog. SECTION 29A 1. An authorised person, by notice served on the owner of a dog, may declare that dog to be a restricted breed if the authorised person, having regard to any approved guidelines relating to restricted breeds is satisfied that the dog is a dog of restricted breed. 2. A notice under subsection (1) is to a. State the reason for the declaration; and b. Advise the owner of the right of appeal. 3. For the purposes of subsection (1), the following breeds of dog are restricted breeds: a. Dogo Argentino; b. Fila Brasileiro; c. Japanese Tosa; d. American pit bull terrier or pit bull terrier; e. Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario; f. Any other breed, kind or description of dog whose importation into Australia is prohibited by or under the Customs Act 1901 of the Commonwealth.

SECTION 32 1. The owner or person in charge of a dangerous dog or a restricted breed dog must ensure that a. The dog, when in a public place i. ii. Is muzzled so as to be unable to bite a person or animal; and Is on a lead that is not more than 2 metres long, is held by hand and is sufficient to control and restrain the dog; and Is under the control of a person at least 18 years of age; and

iii.

b. The dog wears an approved collar at all times; and c. The microchip implanted in the dog is not removed without the approval of the general manager. 2. The owner or person in charge of a dangerous dog must ensure that the dog, when not in a public place, is housed in an enclosure that complies with the prescribed requirements.

SECTION 35 1. An authorised person may seize and detain any dog at large. 4. If a dog is seized and its owner is not identifiable, the general manager, not less than 3 working days after its seizure, may a. Sell, destroy or otherwise dispose of the dog if it is not a dangerous dog or restricted breed dog; or b. Destroy the dog if it is a dangerous dos or a restricted breed dog.

SECTION 39A 1. The general manager is not to release a dangerous dog to its owner unless the general manager is of the opinion that a. The owner has an enclosure in which to keep the dog that satisfies the requirements of section 32; or b. Satisfactory alternative arrangements for housing the dog have been made.

2. If the owner of a dangerous dog does not have an enclosure referred to in subsection 1, the general manager may, by notice in writing served on the owner, require the owner to build, or have built, such an enclosure within 28 days after service of the notice. 3. The general manager may extend the period specified in subsection 2 if of the opinion that sufficient progress towards the completion of the enclosure has been made. 4. If the owner does not build, of have built, a suitable enclosure within the period specified in the notice or such other period as the general manager allows under subsection 3, or does not make satisfactory alternative arrangements for housing the dog, the general manager may destroy the dog. 5. Before destroying the dog under this section, the general manager must, by notice in writing served on the owner, notify the owner of the general manager s intention to destroy the dog. 6. An owner served with a notice under subsection 5 may, within 14 days after being served with the notice, appeal to the Magistrates Court against the general manager s decision to destroy the dog. SECTION 41 1. A person may restrain or destroy a dog if the person a. Is being attacked by the dog; or b. Sees the dog attacking i. Another person; or ii. Another animal; or iii. A guide dog or hearing dog. 2. A person who restrains a dog under subsection 1 is to notify the general manager as soon as possible. When indoors or outdoors on the premises, a dangerous dog or restricted breeds dog must be housed in a way that it cannot escape , and that prevents the dog(s) from injuring any visitors entering the premises. The outdoor enclosure must comply with the following standards: y Have a weatherproof sleeping area

y

Contain lock(s) that have self-closing and self-latching mechanisms on any gates to the enclosure which can be (and are) locked when the dog is in the enclosure Be assembled and maintained in a manner which prevents the do from being able to dig or otherwise escape from the perimeter of the enclosure Have a minimum floor space of 10 square metres per dog Have a perimeter fence with a minimum height of 1.8 metres

y

y y

The enclosure must be constructed from the following materials: y Brick, concrete, timber, iron or similar solid materials; or Chain mesh manufactured from 3.15mm wire to form a uniform 50mm mesh, or weldmesh manufacture from 4mm wire with a maximum mesh spacing of 50mm (Things you should know about restricted breed dogs).

When owning a dangerous dog or restricted breeds dog, it is important that visitors to the premises to know that there is a dangerous or restricted dog present by displaying a prescribed warning sign. The signs are to be displayed to all entrances to the premises where the dog is kept warning that the dog is kept on the premises. The warning sign must: y y y y y y Be a rectangle with a height of 10cm and width of 30cm Be made of durable material Have a light turquoise background Have black bold 72 font, Time New Roman Text Have a 3 point black border around the sign Have at least one colour that is reflective.

NEW REGULATIONS Aim of the new laws is: To breed pit bulls out of existence within a decade . y Owners of dangerous dogs or restricted breeds dogs must have had their dogs de-sexed and micro chipped 28 days from July 1, 2011. In public, the dog must be muzzles, on a lead and under the control of an adult. They must wear the approved dangerous/restricted dog collar at all times.

y y

y y

At home, dogs must be kept in a child-proof enclosure with a concrete floor. A dangerous/restricted dog sign must be on each entrance to the property.

Any pit bulls or other restricted breeds that were not registered by September 30, 2011 will be destroyed by the local council. Local Councils now have the right to seize and impound wandering dogs that are unidentifiable and believed to be a risk. The council can euthanize the dog within 48 hours if unclaimed. They can seize and impound previously declared dangerous/restricted dogs wandering. They can then euthanize the dog after 24 hours if unclaimed. The new laws will bring Tasmania into line with other States of Australia. The restricted status means all pure-bred pit bulls, even ones that have never bitten, will be treated under the dangerous dog laws and must be de-sexed. The regulations now require that restricted dog breeds to include any dog of a mixed breed that visibly contains any prohibited breeds. Previously States and Territories have been responsible for their own dog laws. The Federal Government is now going to step in and lead an overhaul so that there is a national consistency within dog laws. Agricultural Minster, Peter Walsh says that the changes will close a legal loop hole and ensure that Pit bull crosses are included on the register for the first time . In the absence of DNA testing for Pit Bulls, the proposed laws provide visual guidelines to help authorities to identify the breed. The guidelines are called the 22 point system .

22 POINT SYSTEM
Identifying a breed solely based on appearances is likely to be inaccurate. Selective reporting in the media is leading people to rely on the media for breed identification. However the media can misrepresent the role of the breed in the incident. This then frames the issue as a breed problem, when it is a human problem. Some breeds are being misidentified as being of a particular breed or type because they are the ones that bite . RSPCA Victorian CEO, Maria Mercurio says that whilst the government s move to prot3ect the community is being welcomes, it is extremely difficult to identify dog breeds by sight and mistakes can be made. Unless you do a DNA test, even then it is very difficult if you have a number of breeds that have been crossed .

The RSPCA is currently concerned at the comments surfacing in the media that if a dog looks like a pit bull, then it is one . With many different crossbreeds, it can be difficult to trace the dog s heritage if the information is not available, and this information cannot be based solely upon the appearance of the dog. Even experts such as vets have trouble identifying what a pit bull or pit bull cross is, hugely due to the amount of crossbreeding that has occurred which has change people s view on what a pit bull actually looks like. The Queensland government has put together a 22-point identification system that consists of 22 descriptions of a pit bull and a rating system of 1-3 depending on how closely the dog resembles the description with 3 being highly resembling, and 1 being not so resembling. If the dog scores above 45, it will qualify for the death sentence. The Endangered Dog Breeds Australia (EDBA) demonstrated the flaw in the identification system. They applied the 22 descriptions to Pat the Chihuahua. Out of a possibly score of 66, Pat scored 50. According to QLD Animal Control Officers, the Chihuahua substantially meets the description of an American Pit Bull Terrier type . EDBA argues that if a dog that is clearly and

visually not a Pit Bull, can officially be proven to be one using the test, then the application of the identification system to any dog is ridiculous. If the Breed Assessor using the test states that the dog is of a restricted breed, the council will declare it to be restricted. However, if the certification shows the dog to be a cross of a restricted breed, the owner then at their expense- can arrange for a Temperament Assessor . If the temperament test states in writing that the dog is not a danger to public and is not likely, without provocation, to attack or bite a person or animal, the council will NOT declare the dog to be restricted. Due to the identification system and that it is difficult to conclusively identify breeds by appearance; vets could face huge pressure from clients to certify their dogs as non-pit bulls when the breed is unclear. In many cases, the vets will be unable to sign the certificate because cross-breeding often makes it impossible to distinguish between such different breeds such as Pit Bulls and American Staffordshire Terriers. Laboratories have also stated that DNA testing cannot positively distinguish between two breeds in cross breeding situations.

PIT BULLS & DOG ATTACKS/DEATHS IN AUSTRALIA DUE TO PIT BULLS
The term Pit Bull has loosely been used to describe purebred American Pit Bull Terriers or crossbreeds in Australia. In Australia there is a large range of pit bull crosses, including the similar looking Staffordshire terrier crosses. There is no DNA test which can accurately identify an animal as a pit bull cross. The determination of the breed can only be made on physical appearances. This is a grey area that can, and will be, contested in court. Out of Tasmania s 98 dogs declared to be dangerous, only 13 are American Pit bulls, supporting Steve Rigby s (Acting President of the Animal Management Officers Association) prediction that restricting the breed will not result in a decline of dog attacks. Tracing back the history of modern breeds proves to be impossible to be completely sure of the details of dogs such as the Pit Bull. However, many Pit Bull enthusiasts believe that the origins of the breed can be traced back to antiquity and the Molossian family of dogs. The Molossian family is the name of the people whom Pit Bulls were most often associated with the Molossi tribe, who were a group of people who lived in ancient Greece and favoured the usage of healthy, muscular dogs in warfare. The dogs were officially termed as Canus Molossi meaning dogs of the Molossi. These dogs were renowned for their fierceness, and for their distinctive ability to intimidate the enemies of the tribe. The Molossians also gave rise to another family of dogs known as the Mastiffs. The early Britons employed a variation of Mastiffs as fighting dogs that could be used in either a

guardianship or warfare capacity. When the Roman emperor Claudius defeated the Briton Chief Caractacus in 50 AD, the powerful fighting dogs excited his interest. He then quickly seized the opportunity and began exporting selected quantities of the dogs back to his home land to satisfy his countrymen s appetite for entertainment in the arenas and coliseums of Rome. Once in Rome, the British dogs were then crossbred with their Roman equivalent. From the 50 AD to 410 AD, the breed was widely distributed throughout the Roman Empire for the use as fighting dogs. During these years they were also mixed with other indigenous breeds throughout Europe, creating a genetic melting pot for the bulldogs that are thought to have been the direct ancestor of the American Pit Bull Terrier. However, the Romans were not the last to use Pit Bulls in cruel and grisly blood sports. When the Norman invaded England in 1066, they introduced the sport of baiting. By the 16th century, nearly every town in England had its own baiting ring. In the baiting events, no more than one or two dogs were unleashed the bull. They were trained to relentlessly harass the bulls until they collapsed from fatigue, their injuries, or both. These episodes lasted for long periods of time, sometimes as long as 3-4 hours. However, the public soon grew bored of using bulls and introduce the creative flair of using bears, boars, horses and even monkeys. Baiting was made illegal by the British parliament in 1835. However this legislation did little to satisfy the public s desire to watch the dogs in fighting sports. Their attention soon turned to a new variety called ratting, where dogs were thrown into a pit with a varying number of rats. The dogs raced against time and each other to determine which could kill the most rats in the shortest period of time. This is where pit in the name Pit Bull comes from, the fact that ratting occurred in a pit. The public s attention fell onto the sport of dog fighting, mainly because it was easier to be hidden from the government than baiting and other fighting sports. Since dog fighting required smaller, agile dogs than those used for baiting, the fighting bulldogs were bred with terriers. The result was the bull and terrier, now commonly known as the first Pit Bull Terrier a muscular canine gladiator bred specifically for battle with other dogs. The sport was extremely cruel and sadistic. The canine fighters were put through severe training instilling in them an intense desire to spill the blood of their opponents. It was a common practise for these dogs to be fed a diet of blood and raw meat and to be kept in complete darkness apart from their few hours of training with their handlers. Their appetite for the kill was further enhanced by their handlers forcing them to run on a stationary treadmill with a weaker animal in front of them, just out of reach. The weaker animal became their reward at the end of the exercise with the dog being allowed to kill it. When the English immigrants arrived in America, their dogs came with them. As the immigrants travelled west through America, their Pit Bulls took on a broader and more humane function. The Pit Bull assumed the role of an all-purpose dog. In addition to

herding cattle and sheep they served as faithful guardians, protecting their families and livestock from the threat of thieves and wild animals (History of the Pit Bull). Staffordshire Bull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers have been seized and destroyed on numerous occasions because they have been mistakenly identified and believed to be Pit Bulls.

American Pit Bull Terrier

Pit Bull Terrier

American Staffordshire Terrier (American Staffy)

Staffordshire Terrier (Staffy)

Whilst they all look rather similar, when all placed next to each other it is easier to see the difference.

SURVEYS/RESULTS ­ COMPARING DATA
Since 1979, there have been over 33 dog related deaths in Australia; this is roughly 1 death per year. Only 11 in Victoria and only 1 dog has previously been described as a pit bull cross before the death of Ayen Chol (Lisa Watson, Statistician at Monash University). This goes to show that there has not been a death due to a pit bull attack for over 2 decades. Which means other breeds must be more prominent to attack than a pit bull. In 1988, the Victorian Bureau of Animal Welfare (BAW) revealed that the prominent breeds involved in attacks were the German Shepard, Rottweiler and the Australian Cattle dog amongst others. Only one attack was attributed to a pit bull (Breed specific legislation, Queensland). A register of declared dangerous dogs from Brisbane City Council from 1995 totalling 751 attacks, place the following breeds predominant: y y y y y y Cattle dogs German Shepard Bull Terriers Rottweilers Kelpies 200 185 76 69 43

Two attacks were from 2 different American Pit Bulls.

Only a year later were Pit Bull Terriers and cross breeds banned in Brisbane, with the Mayor Graham Quirk stating that the Pit Bull was an extremely dangerous and aggressive breed and had no place in his city (Morton Bay Council refuses to ban Pit Bull Terriers until they proved to be a problem, Quest Newspapers), even though the Australian Cattle Dog and German Shepard had attacked more frequently than Bull Terriers. A news poll in QLD and VIC in 2001 showed that 75% of respondents believed that some dog breeds are more likely to bite than others. When asked how they formed this opinion, almost 75% said they had read it in the papers or heard it on the news (Breed specific legislation, Queensland). This shows that people are uneducated about the breeds of dogs involved in the attacks. Dr Stephen Collier of New England University has conducted investigations into dog attacks in Australia. His data on frequency by breed shows the Pit Bull to be exceeded by several other breeds. He said that about 14 human fatalities in Australia over the last 2 decades, none has involved a dog proved to be a Pit Bull. He further notes that the government s foundation for its legislation is to ban fighting breeds, yet 2 of the 4 banned breeds, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro were developed as hunting, not fighting dogs.

Dr Collier s study in 2001 (not including Gold Coast and Brisbane) showed that out of a total of 750 dog attacks over a 12 month period, only 3 of those attacks were attributed to American Pit Bulls. Separate data from the Gold Coast City Council recorded 162 dog attacks with 3 also being attributed to American Pit Bulls. Collier s data from 1997-2000, showed that there were 829 injuries to people cause by dogs that were reported to councils in NSW. Breeds for a majority of these attacks were Crossbreeds, unknown breeds, Cattle dog types, German Shepard types and Collie types (Breed specific legislation). Flinders University in Adelaide also conducted a research investigation into dog attacks in Australia. The results found are as followed:
Dog Bites - Table of frequencies by age group

Frequency

Per cent

Valid Per cent

Cumulative Per cent

0-4 yrs. 5-9 yrs. 10-14 yrs. 15-29 yrs. 30-44 yrs. 45-59 yrs. 60-74 yrs. 75 or more yrs. Total

1780 1473 1175 1364 762 589 338 110 7591

23.4 19.4 15.5 18.0 10.0 7.8 4.5 1.4 100.0

23.4 19.4 15.5 18.0 10.0 7.8 4.5 1.4 100.0

23.4 42.9 58.3 76.3 86.3 94.1 98.6 100.0

This shows that a majority of people attacked by dogs are within the 0-4 year group. There are a few reasons as to why this may be. The child may not fully understand what not to do to a dog and may accidentally hurt or frighten the dog. It could also be put down to jealousy on the dogs behalf if it is a loved family pet, if the child is getting all the attention that the dog use to have before the child was born then the dog may attack out

of jealousy. It could also be down to the fact that the child was left unsupervised around the dog. The third highest age group was from 15-29 years, the factors behind these attacks could be put down to pure adolescent acts, with deviant behaviour and provoking the dog to attack by teasing. However some cases could be purely accidents.
Dog Bites - Table of frequencies by geographical location of the incident

Frequency

Per cent

Cumulative Per cent

Ocean or estuary Lake or river or dam Water slide Public swimming pool Factory or warehouse Mine or quarry Construction site Farm or primary production Other industrial Private enterprise Government public utility Public road Private road or driveway Footpath

3 29 1 1 16 3 22 67 34 137 6 594 76 844

.0 .4 .0 .0 .2 .0 .3 .9 .4 1.8 .1 7.8 1.0 11.1

.0 .4 .4 .4 .7 .7 1.0 1.9 2.3 4.1 4.2 12.0 13.0 24.1

Parking area Other vehicle area Train, tram, plane, ferry, other Sports arena or oval or court Public institution Private institution Own home kitchen Own home bath, laundry, toilet Own home living or sleeping Own home garden etc. Other private home kitchen Other private home, bath, laundry, toilet Other private home living or sleep Other private home garden etc. Residential institution Other, incl. tent or caravan Child care, not playground Child care playground School, not playground School playground

23 17 5 83 5 10 63 23 506 2145 26 9 247 1524 8 14 1 2 11 38

.3 .2 .1 1.1 .1 .1 .8 .3 6.7 28.3 .3 .1 3.3 20.1 .1 .2 .0 .0 .1 .5

24.5 24.7 24.7 25.8 25.9 26.0 26.9 27.2 33.8 62.1 62.4 62.5 65.8 85.9 86.0 86.2 86.2 86.2 86.4 86.9

Other educational Public playground Private or commercial amusement area Camping area National or public park Field or paddock Beach Unknown or not elsewhere specified Total

3 35 16 14 186 37 40 667 7591

.0 .5 .2 .2 2.5 .5 .5 8.8 100.0

86.9 87.4 87.6 87.7 90.2 90.7 91.2 100.0

From the data the two highest frequencies were in their own home or garden, or other home or garden. The reasoning for this could be linked back to the first table of data, where the common age group was from 0-4 years of age, with unsupervised children, or children wandering onto neighbour s property.

The following is a list 150 random dog attack cases: Dog Bites - Summary table of a random selection of 150 relevant cases (a)
Level of medical treatment received Casualty review Casualty review Casualty review

Age in years

Description of the incident

Primary injury sustained

Primary body part affected

1

64

GETTING INTO BED AND DOG ON BED BIT HER

Cut, laceration

Wrist

2

70

FEEDING DOG BITTEN BY DOG

Cut, laceration

Lower leg or NEC Lower leg or NEC Hand or NEC

3

66

WALKING AROUND NEIGHBOUR,BITTEN BY A DOG TRYING TO BREAK UP DOG FIGHT WALKING ALONG ROAD AND BITTEN BY DOG HELPING TO TRAIN A SECURITY DOG AND FOOLING AROUND WITH DOG AND WAS BITTEN

Bite

4

38

Bite

Admitted

5

84

Bite

Forearm

Treated referral OPD

6

38

Bite

Hand or NEC

Casualty review

7

78

TRYING TO GET BONE OFF DOG AND DOGS TOOTH CUT FINGER

Cut, laceration

Upper extremity digit or phalanx Upper extremity digit or phalanx Lower leg or NEC Hand or NEC

Casualty review

8

61

TRYING TO GET DOG OUT OF HOME BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

Treated no referral

9

52

ATTACKED BY DOG

Bite

Casualty review Treated no referral

10

54

PLAYING WITH THE DOG AND THE DOG BIT HIM

Bite

11

24

BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

Hand or NEC

Casualty review

12

47

WALKING ON FOOTPATH WITH FRIEND,DOG ATTACKED HER AND BIT LEG

Bite

Tarsal bone

Treated referral GP

13

26

AT BBQ BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

Upper extremity digit or phalanx

Casualty review

14

54

BITTEN BY DOG

Cut, laceration

Forearm

Casualty review

15

23

BITTEN THRU FENCE BY DOG

Bite

Upper extremity digit or phalanx Lower leg or NEC Lower leg or NEC Lower leg or NEC Upper extremity digit or phalanx Mouth external

Casualty review

16

70

WALKING AND DOG RAN OUT AND BIT HER

Superficial abrasion

Treated no referral Treated no referral Casualty review

17

39

BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

18

47

PATIENT BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

19

48

BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

Casualty review

20

26

PLAYING WITH DOG BITTEN ON LIP BITTEN BY CATTLE DOG OWNED BY FRIENDS NEIGHBOUR

Cut, laceration

Treated referral OPD

21

20

Bite

Upper arm, NEC

Casualty review

22

24

BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

Lower extremity digit or phalanx

Treated no referral

23

27

PLAYING WITH CAT BITTEN BY DOG BREAKING UP DOG FIGHT BITTEN BY DOG-BORDER COLLIE

Bite

Foot or NEC

Casualty review

24

27

Puncture

Forearm

Casualty review

25

22

AT PARTY BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

Nose

Treated no referral Casualty review Treated no referral

26

22

GETTING OUT OF CAR BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

Upper leg or NEC Lower leg or NEC

27

64

BITTEN BY DOG

Cut, laceration

28

32

TRYING TO BREAK UP DOG FIGHT AND WAS BITTEN BY DOG

Puncture

Upper leg or NEC

Treated no referral

29

82

DOG BIT HIM ON THE LEG

Bite

Lower leg or NEC

Casualty review

30

65

VICTIM TRYING TO SEPARATE OWN DOGS FROM FIGHTING, BITTEN BY DOG VICTIM BITTEN BY FRIEND'S DOG WHILE TRYING TO PUSH IT AWAY FROM HIS OWN DOG

Bite

Hand or NEC

Treated no referral

31

23

Bite

Hand or NEC

Casualty review

32

23

BITTEN BY DOG

Cut, laceration

Upper leg or NEC Upper leg or NEC Lower leg or NEC Lower leg or NEC

Casualty review Treated no referral Casualty review

33

40

BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

34

48

FIXING CAR AND STARTLED DOG AND DOG BIT HIM ATTACKED BY DOG WHILST WALKING TO SHOPS

Bite

35

40

Bite

Admitted

36

58

BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

Abdomen or NEC Upper extremity digit or phalanx Hand or NEC Upper leg or NEC

Treated no referral

37

60

SEPARATING TWO FIGHTING DOGS AND WAS BITTEN

Bite

Casualty review

38

32

STOPPING DOG FIGHT BITTEN BY DOG DOG JUMPED FENCE AND BIT VICTIM WALKING INTO NEIGHBOURS YARD AND WAS ATTACKED BY A DOG

Bite

Treated no referral Treated no referral

39

77

Puncture

40

19

Puncture

Upper leg or NEC

Treated no referral

41

22

DOG BIT HIM

Bite

Forearm

Casualty review Treated referral GP

42

58

BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

Lower leg or NEC

43

18

BREAKING UP DOGFIGHT BITTEN BY DOG

Injury not specified Mouth external

0

No treatment

44

22

PATTING DOG BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

Casualty review Casualty review Treated no referral Treated no referral Treated no referral

45

15

WALKING IN PARK AT 1.00 A.M. & WAS BITTEN BY A DOG COLLECTING WORK MATERIAL BITTEN BY DOG PLAYING ON SWINGS BITTEN BY DOG PLAYING WITH DOG AND DOG BIT HIM

Puncture

Forearm

46

42

Bite

Forearm

47

23

Bite

Hip

48

19

Bite

Hand or NEC Upper extremity

49

34

INJURED WHILE TRYING TO

Cut, laceration

Casualty

BREAK UP A DOG FIGHT

digit or phalanx Upper extremity digit or phalanx

review

50

74

BREAKING UP 2 FIGHTING DOGS BITTEN BY DOG

Cut, laceration

Casualty review

51

28

BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

Hip

Treated no referral

52

25

ANNOYING DOG BITTEN BY DOG VICTIM BITTEN BY DOG UNPROVOKED ATTACK

Bite

Ear

Admitted

53

46

Bite

Ankle

Treated no referral Treated no referral Treated no referral

54

53

BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

Lower leg or NEC Upper leg or NEC Upper extremity digit or phalanx Upper extremity digit or phalanx Lower leg or NEC

55

13

PLAYING AND BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

56

63

TRIPPED OVER DOG AND DOG BIT HER HAND

Bite

Treated no referral

57

60

BITTEN BY UNKNOWN DOG

Bite

Casualty review

58

25

TRYING TO ARREST A MAN AND HIS DOG BIT THE VICTIM

Bite

Casualty review Casualty review

59

45

BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

Forearm

60

32

VICTIM PICKED UP DOG IN CAR YARD, DOG BIT VICTIM ON FACE VICTIM BITTEN BY DOG

Cut, laceration

Face cheek forehead scalp

Casualty review

61

18

Bite

Chest or

Treated no

NEC TALKING TO THE OWNER OF A DOBERMAN DOG WHEN DOG ATTACKED BITING HIM ON LEG CHILD WAS PLAYING WITH PIG DOG,DOG GOT STIRRED UP AND CHILD WAS BITTEN TRIED TO BREAK UP A DOG FIGHT AND WAS BITTEN BY A DOG WALKING ALONG FOOTPATH & WAS BITTEN BY A DOG IN YARD AT UNIT BLOCK & WAS BITTEN BY A DOG

referral

62

28

Puncture

Upper leg or NEC

Treated referral GP

63

2

Bite

Ear

Treated no referral

64

52

Cut, laceration

Hand or NEC

Treated referral GP

65

15

Puncture

Upper leg or NEC Lower leg or NEC Upper extremity digit or phalanx Lower back or NEC Upper leg or NEC Lower leg or NEC Lower leg or NEC Chest or NEC Lower leg or NEC

Treated referral GP Treated no referral

66

41

Puncture

67

35

BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

Casualty review

68

60

ATTACKED BY DOG

Bite

Treated no referral Treated no referral Treated no referral Treated no referral Casualty review Treated no referral

69

24

WALKING THROUGH GATE AND WAS BITTEN BY DOG BREAKING UP A DOG FIGHT AND WAS BITTEN

Bite

70

25

Bite

71

18

BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

72

14

PLAYING IN BACKYARD AND DOG ATTACKED AND BIT HIM ON WAY TO COLLEGE & WAS BITTEN BY A DOG

Bite

73

20

Cut, laceration

74

23

GETTING OUT OF CAR BITTEN BY DOG TRYING TO SEPERATE TWO FIGHTING DOGS AND WAS BITTEN

Bite

Forearm

Casualty review

75

20

Puncture

Forearm

Treated no referral

76

13

HELPING INJURED DOG BITTEN BY DOG

Puncture

Upper extremity digit or phalanx

Casualty review

77

23

TRYING TO STOP A DOG BITING AND WAS BITTEN HIMSELF HELPING DOG THAT HAD BEEN HIT BY CAR DOG BIT VICITM STOPPING DOG FROM BARKING BITTEN BY DOG WAITING FOR BUS BITTEN BY DOG

Cut, laceration

Ocular adnexum

Casualty review

78

30

Penetrating wound

Wrist

Admitted

79

80

Bite

Hand or NEC Upper arm, NEC

Treated no referral Treated no referral Casualty review Casualty review Treated no referral

80

41

Superficial abrasion

81

29

BITTEN BY DOG

Puncture

Wrist

82

53

BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

Hand or NEC

83

26

BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

Hip

84

38

WENT TO FREE DOG TRAPPED IN FENCE DOG WAS DISTRESSED AND BIT HER

Cut, laceration

Hand or NEC

Treated no referral

85

34

PLAYING WITH DOG AND WAS BITTEN

Superficial abrasion

Upper extremity digit or phalanx

Treated no referral

86

36

BITTEN BY A DOG

Puncture

Lower leg or

Treated no

NEC Haematoma or bruising

referral

87

27

BITTEN BY DOG

Wrist

Admitted

88

27

BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

Forearm

Casualty review Casualty review Treated no referral Casualty review

89

27

PLAYING WITH DOG BITTEN BY DOG COLLECTING FOR BLUE NURSES AND BITTEN BY DOG TRYING TO BREAK UP A DOG FIGHT AND WAS BITTEN

Bite

Forearm

90

31

Bite

Lower leg or NEC Lower leg or NEC Face cheek forehead scalp Lower leg or NEC

91

27

Cut, laceration

92

14

BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

Admitted

93

24

BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

Casualty review Treated no referral Casualty review Casualty review Casualty review Treated referral GP Treated no referral

94

42

BITTEN BY MAD DOG

Bite

Ankle

95

29

BITTEN ON FACE BY DOG

Cut, laceration

Mouth external Hand or NEC Lower leg or NEC Lower leg or NEC Lower leg or NEC

96

56

TRIED TO SEPARATE FIGHTING DOGS BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

97

61

BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

98

6

CHILD-BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

99

23

BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

100

15

SELLING LOLLIES FOUR DOGS JUMPED ON PATIENT BITTEN

Bite

Upper leg or

Treated no

BY ONE DOG

NEC Upper leg or NEC Upper leg or NEC Lower leg or NEC Upper extremity digit or phalanx Upper leg or NEC

referral Casualty review Treated no referral Casualty review

101

17

BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

102

49

BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

103

17

BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

104

25

JOGGING BITTEN BY DOG

Cut, laceration

Treated no referral

105

18

CROSSING ROAD BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

Treated no referral

106

71

BITTEN BY DOG

Injury not specified

0

No treatment

107

55

BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

Lower leg or NEC Foot or NEC Lower leg or NEC Mouth external

Treated referral OPD No treatment Treated no referral Treated no referral Treated no referral Casualty review Treated no referral

108

20

BITTEN BY DOG

Bite Superficial abrasion

109

42

BITTEN BY DOG

110

19

PATTING DOG BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

111

17

GARDENING AND ATTACKED BY A DOG DELIVERING FLYERS AND DOG BIT HIS THIGH READING METERS AND BITTEN BY A DOG

Penetrating wound

Ankle

112

43

Bite

Upper leg or NEC Upper leg or NEC Upper extremity

113

43

Cut, laceration

114

25

ASSISTING FRIEND AND

Cut, laceration

Treated no

ATTACKED BY STRAY DOG

digit or phalanx Lower leg or NEC Chest or NEC Upper leg or NEC Hand or NEC

referral

115

39

BITTEN BY DOG

Cut, laceration

Treated no referral Casualty review Treated no referral Casualty review Casualty review Treated no referral

116

39

LETTING DOGS OUT OF KENNELS BITTEN BY DOG

Puncture

117

28

JOGGING BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

118

62

BITTEN BY DOG

Cut, laceration

119

26

MBA BLUE HEELER DOG RAN OUT AND BIT FRONT OF FOOT

Bite

Foot or NEC

120

16

BITTEN BY DOG

Superficial abrasion

Ankle

121

45

BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

Upper extremity digit or phalanx Upper leg or NEC Chest or NEC Hand or NEC Upper extremity digit or phalanx

Treated no referral

122

25

BREAKING UP A DOG FIGHT AND WAS BITTEN BY A DOG

Bite

Treated no referral Treated no referral Treated no referral

123

16

DOG RACED OUT AND BIT HIM

Bite

124

72

BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

125

26

REPREMANDING DOG AND DOG BIT HER

Bite

Treated no referral

126

23

PLAYING WITH DOG AND DOG BIT HIM WHEN TRYING TO GRAB A STICK

Puncture

Upper leg or NEC

Treated no referral

127

18

TRYING TO STOP DOGS FIGHTING AND DOG TURNED ON HIM PLAYING WITH DOG BITTEN BY DOG CHECKING WHAT THE DOG WAS EATING AND BITTEN BY DOG PLAYING WITH DOG AND IT TOOK A FRIENDLY BITE AT HIS LEG WALKING IN DRIVEWAY AND BITTEN BY A DOG SITTING BY POOL AND DOG BIT HIM LIFTING UP DOG AFTER IT HAD BEEN BITTEN BY OTHER DOG AND IT BIT HER COLLECTING MONEY AND BITTEN BY A DOG

Puncture

Wrist

Casualty review

128

45

Puncture

Knee

Treated no referral

129

61

Puncture

Hand or NEC

Casualty review

130

21

Bite

Upper leg or NEC

Treated no referral

131

50

Penetrating wound

Upper leg or NEC

Treated no referral Treated no referral

132

60

Bite

Ear

133

61

Bite

Face cheek forehead scalp

Treated no referral

134

59

Bite

Ankle

Casualty review Treated other referral Casualty review Casualty review

135

47

BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

Upper leg or NEC

136

26

PATTING DOG AND DOG BIT HIM PATTING DOG AND BITTEN ON HAND

Cut, laceration

Wrist

137

27

Bite

Wrist

138

40

BITTEN BY DOG ON BOTH HANDS

Bite

Upper extremity digit or phalanx

Casualty review

139

47

PLAYING WITH DOG & DOG BIT HER

Inflammation oedema

Forearm

Treated no referral

tenderness Lower leg or NEC Upper leg or NEC Other trunk injury Treated referral GP Treated no referral Treated no referral

140

35

BITTEN BY DOG

Puncture

141

7

RIDING SKATEBOARD BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

142

13

BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

143

26

PLAYING WITH DOG AND KICKING A BALL AND DOG GRABBED BALL AND BIT HIS FOOT WALKING THE DOG,DOG GOT INTO A FIGHT & HE WAS BITTEN ON THE LEG PLAYING WITH BULL TERRIER AND HE WAS BITTEN DOGS FIGHTING AND BITTEN BY DOG

Cut, laceration

Foot or NEC

Casualty review

144

33

Cut, laceration

Lower leg or NEC

Casualty review

145

50

Cut, laceration

Hand or NEC Hand or NEC

Treated referral GP Casualty review Casualty review Treated referral GP Treated no referral Casualty review

146

19

Puncture

147

25

BITTEN BY DOG

Bite

Femur

148

48

BITTEN BY A DOG

Bite

Lower leg or NEC Lower leg or NEC

149

43

JOGGING AND BITTEN BY A DOG DELIVERING LEAFLETS AND BITTEN BY DOG WHILE RIDING 150

Bite

150

14

Puncture

Ankle

N

150

a Limited to first 150 cases.

NEC = Not elsewhere classified.

( http://www.nisu.flinders.edu.au/pubs/shortreps/canines)

When going through these 150 cases, I became aware of many reasons why the dog may have attacked. A majority of these cases were due to trying to break up a dog fight. Dogs are pack animals and when aggravated and wound up they will turn. Stepping in between two or more aggravated dogs is one of the most ridiculous actions you could do, when it would be just as easy to spray them with water or through a non hurtful object to distract them. Another common reason for dogs attacking was when food was involved. Once again dogs are pack animals, meaning they are scavengers, they bury their food due to if they starve later on they always have food to eat. Unless you know the temperament of the dog it is better not to take food of a dog. A reason I found interesting was that a lot of these cases were when people were playing with the dog and the dog attacked them. However, it is unknown as to what nature this playing was. If it was rough play then it would not be surprising if the dog got excited or agitated and attacked. Also what most people forget is that dogs are not humans, they have their own personal space. Whilst this space may not be big, it is there and should be respected. In a way similar to humans, the dog will attack when its personal space has been invaded. On the Kid Safe QLD website, Bull Terriers came in 6th in the frequency by breed with 6.3%, with the highest being unknown with 17.5% and the second highest was the Blue Heeler with 14.3% (Dog

attack fact sheet).

The RSPCA Act found the following of attacks by breeds: Breed Number involved in attacks 63 Number of breed registered in NSW 35711 % of breed reported as having attacked 0.2

German Shepherd dog Rottweiler Australian Cattle Dog Staffordshire Bull Terrier American Pit Bull Terrier

58 59

23735 28850

0.2 0.2

41

40776

0.1

33

3244

1.0

NB: These data indicate that 200 + bites are attributable to other breeds

(Stephen Collier, PhD. Breed specific legislation and the Pit Bull Terrier: Are the laws justified?)

VIEW AND OPINIONS
From the recent controversy surrounding Pit Bulls and dog attacks many people have started to voice their views and opinions about the whole ordeal. It is believed by some that instead of focusing on specific breeds or single events and reacting emotively, we need to systematically examine and account for all the circumstances surrounding dog bite incidents (Linda Watson. Breed blame-game: banning Pit Bulls won t work). The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) says that whilst they support many parts of the legislation, they were particularly against the breed specific regulations as their policy is deed, not breed should be the determining factor in the assessment and treatment of dogs. The Victorian President, Susan Maastricht, believes that Humans, not dogs are the species that need to be targeted, through education to improve pet s behaviour. The animals are being made scapegoats, but it s mostly what humans do to them. Politicians are looking for a visible solution. It s not actually going to fix the problem because there will always be dog bites. The terrible part is that there are an awful lot of lovely looking dogs that are crossbred dogs that have never been and are never likely to be a problem, and they ll get swept up in this (Dog fight brews over tough laws, The Australian). The RSPCA s position has not always been clear on the area of dog attacks. In 2009, after an attack by an American Pit Bull, the Victorian President at the time, Hugh Wirth, said that Pit Bulls were time bombs waiting for the right circumstances. They should never have been allowed into the country. They are an absolute menace . Maria Mercurio, the current President of the RSPCA, says that the policy has changed since 2009 due to the fact that there is a lack of research showing Pit Bulls or any other breed is more prone to attack. Their policy argues that dogs should not be declared dangerous solely on the basis of breed. Maria also says that whilst legislation is important and we support the government in that, we would like to see an equal emphasis on educating our community so that we have good, responsible pet owners. People are frightened that their dogs will be mistaken for Pit Bulls or other dangerous breeds when in fact they re not (Dog fight brews over tough laws, The Australian). An RSPCA spokesman has also said that unfortunately however, we are aware that the very pet owners that shouldn t have a breed like a Pit Bull are often attracted to those types of dogs . Many organisations and individuals believe in the slogan blame the deed, not the breed believing that it is not the dog s size or breed that is the issue but the dog s behaviour, or the circumstances under which the dog attacked. Colin Muir believes that the new legislation is misguided with people unfairly focusing on the look of a dog and not those that actually present a danger to the community. Since the restrictions in 2005 on Pit

Bulls, he believes that there has been no reduction in overall dog attacks (Council officers attacked by dangerous dogs, Herald Sun). However, Victorian Agriculture Minister, Peter Walsh, says that the deed, not breed mantra fails. Once the deed is committed it means someone has been seriously injured or in the worst case scenario killed, then it s all too late. You cannot undo what s been done. In effect laws are made for those that aren t responsible and that s what we re trying to deal with in this particular case. The people who don t register their dogs appropriately are the same people that will not do the training courses (Dog fight brews over tough laws, The Australian). Many also believe that the correct socialisation and responsible ownership of dogs will lead to fewer dog attacks. The operations manager of National Dog Trainers Federation, Brad Griggs, believes that owners should be required to take a certified course in responsible pet ownership, regardless of the breed. He also suggests requiring certain types of dogs, such as Pit Bulls, to pass an obedience and temperament test each year (Dog fight brews over tough laws, The Australian). It is believed that dogs can show aggression due to factors including genetics, environment and learning. Socialisation is an important point, they should be introduce to people, children, cars, household items, other animals and other cultures so they don t get stressed. The Animal Management Officers Association of Tasmania, acting President Steve Rigby, says that the politician s intent was to get rid of Pit Bulls, which were only a problem when they fell into the wrong hands. They are status dogs, it s normally the rough-nut characters, the person who wants the dog to make them look tough, rather than have the dog as a family pet (Dog laws bite back, The Mercury). Jason Evans, who owns an American Pit Bull, says that she is a wuss, but that s the way I want her. What s happening is a lot of bogan people, the common bogan who is unemployed who sits at home and is into drugs, when they get a dog they are going to get the meanest, toughest dog. They get the pup, they kick it, bash it, give it the taste of blood and of course they will grow up vicious and kill other dogs and bite little kids. If you get them as a pup you can bring them up real good (Vicious bogan owners blamed, The Mercury). However, some views are not so comforting; with Premier Ted Baillieu saying the incident (death of Ayen Chol) was unacceptable and dangerous breeds had lost the right to exist . A comment on the Herald Sun website also read Kill the lot of them! Owning a Pit Bull is no different to owning a gun . The federal MP, Bill Shorten, has dubbed Pit Bulls as sharks on legs . Council staffs have reported physical threats after trying to enter properties in outer Melbourne to confirm reports of restricted breeds. A Pit Bull attacked a Brimbank

Council officer in Sydenham as he attempted to collect it to put it down (Council officers attacked by dangerous dogs, Herald Sun). The Endangered Dog Breeds Association has the opinion that all dogs have the capacity to bite; after all, dogs have sharp teeth. However, dogs that have caring guardians, which grow up with the correct socialisation and temperament, no matter what breed of dog, will very rarely bite unless their home or family is threatened. Understanding the importance of responsible dog ownership can prevent many of these dog attacks (Breed specific legislation).

MY OPINION
I believe that over the years, humans have begun to associate their pets as of human form, treating them as if they were their own child or other family member. Whilst I believe there is nothing wrong with this, I believe that some have forgotten that dogs are pack animals. It is fine to nurture them but somewhere a line has to be drawn. When playing with a dog I believe that some mistake playing with patronising. Just like humans dogs do have personal space, it may not be as big, but it is there. When this space is invaded, just like humans, they will most likely lash out. I do believe in the phrase deed, not breed as I think that there is not enough evidence to securely link Pit Bulls to be frequent attackers. From the research I have seen, other breeds have come out predominant in frequency of attacks, such as the German Shepard. Why this breed is not classed as restricted or dangerous like the Pit Bull I do not know, but I believe they should be. It is common to see a German Shepard as a police dog, but if they attack someone while on duty, they are covered under the Dog Control Act of 2000 as a guard dog or duty dog. I think that targeting specific breeds however will not solve the situation. My opinion is that the best possible was to reduce attacks is not to place the whole breed on the dangerous dog registry but specific dogs that have or have shown intentions to attack humans or other animals. From experience of knowing a dog that got declared as dangerous due to killing a rabbit, I believe that the legislation about declaring dogs as dangerous when attacking an animal should be altered slightly. As pack animals, dogs natural instinct is to hunt, unless your dog has a lazy temperament, then most dogs would chase a rabbit, or small rodent. If the dog was to attack another dog or larger animal at random then I believe that yes, the dog should be declared as dangerous, especially if the attack was severe or caused death to that animal. I agree that Pit Bulls are used as stage dogs to bring the appearance of looking tough and I do not believe this to be right. I think that any dog when raised appropriately and with the correct socialisation will grow to be a decent, good tempered dog. However,

when raised to look tough and to be aggressive, and not being socialised, I understand that that is the behaviour the dog will act upon.

REFERENCES
Angus Thompson. Council officers attacked by dangerous dogs, Herald Sun. September 28, 2011 12:00AM. http://www.news.com.au/council-officers-attacked-by-dangerous-dogs/storyfn7x8me2-1226148603613. Date accessed: 30/09/11 Breed specific legislation. http://www.dogslife.com.au/dogs_life_articles?cid=9446&pid=146514. Date accessed: 2/11/11 Breed specific legislation, Queensland. http://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/t_standard2.aspx?pid=428#current. Date accessed: 3/11/11 Dog attack fact sheet. http://www.gtp.com.au/kidsafeqld/inewsfiles/inews.2773.1.pdf. Date accessed: 2/11/11 Dog Control Act, 2000. www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/tas/consol_act/dca2000134/. Date accessed: 1/11/11 History of the Pit Bull. http://www.pitbull411.com/history.html Date accessed: 3/11/11 Linda Watson. Breed blame-game: banning Pit Bulls won t work. August 25, 2011 2:17PM. http://theconversation.edu.au/breed-blame-game-banning-pit-bulls-wontwork-3036. Date accessed: 23/10/11 Pia Akerman. Dog fight brews over tough laws, The Australian. September 08, 2011 12:00AM. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/dog-fight-brews-over-toughlaws/story-e6frg6z6-1226131681378. Date accessed: 23/10/11 Philippa Duncan. Dog laws bite back, The Mercury. May 02, 2010 12:01AM. http://www.themercury.com.au/article/2010/05/02/143451_tasmania-news.html. Date accessed: 23/10/11 Philippa Duncan. Vicious bogan owners blamed, The Mercury. May 02, 3010 7:35AM.

http://www.themercury.com.au/article/2010/05/02/143625_tasmania-news.html. Date accessed: 20/10/11

Redcliffe & Bayside Herald. Morton Bay Council refuses to ban Pit Bull Terriers until they proved to be a problem. Quest Newspapers, August 26, 2011 12:01AM. http://www.couriermail.com.au/questnews/moreton/moreton-bay-regional-councilrefuses-to-ban-extremely-dangerous-pitbull-terriers-until-they-prove-to-be-a-problemmayor-allan-sutherland/story-fn8m0yu3-1226122534372. Date accessed: 2/11/11 Renate Kreisfeld & Stan Bordeaux. Dog Bites: Injury resulting from dog bites. 29/7/98. http://www.nisu.flinders.edu.au/pubs/shortreps/canines. Date accessed: 2/11/11 Restricted Breeds FAQ, Department of premier and cabinet, Tasmania. http://www.dpac.tas.gov.au/divisions/lgd/dog_control/restricted_breed_faqs. Date accessed: 1/11/11 Stephen Collier, PhD. Breed specific legislation and the Pit Bull Terrier: Are the laws justified? 2006. http://rspca-act.org.au/files/view/?id=532. Date accessed: 2/11/11

Things you should know about restricted breed dogs, Department of primary industries, Victoria. http://dpi.vic.gov.au/pets/dog-care/pit-bull-terrier-registration/things-you-should-knowabout-restricted-breed-dogs. Date accessed: 1/11/11

BIBLIOGRAPHY
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