DOG LAW REFORM

Submission to the Government during its
Review of the Dog Control Act 2000


TOPIC: New Offence – Waylaying


Waylaying is defined here as the aggressive barking of a dog that is prevented from physically
attacking a person by the gates or fences of the premises containing it.


The Paper Noxious Barking elaborates further:

The usual place of everyday suburban animal imprisonment is the backyard, with free access up
part of the gated driveway being quite common.

It is also standard practice, as part of their congenital territorial and defence pre-conditioning,
for many dogs to quietly wait while watching for pedestrians through wire or paling fences, then
greatly frighten these harmless innocents with sudden extremely loud aggressive barking.

Children, the infirm and the elderly can be particularly startled and traumatized by this common
occurrence, often believing a furious unprovoked attack by an aggressive mindless munch
machine is imminent while also knowing they are utterly powerless to defend themselves in any
way.

This lying in wait is a form of owner-approved animal ambush, so ‘permitting a dog to waylay’
should therefore become an offence.

Fence or no fence, gate or no gate, the extremely frightening effect on the victim’s psyche
constitutes both assault and attack. If a man behaved like this he’d be arrested.

Recommended:

2. That the animal behaviour outlined above be made an offence.

2. That the unsupported verbal complaint of any person claiming to be aggrieved by such animal
behaviour (or the verbal report of any person claiming to act on that aggrieved person’s behalf)
be automatically accepted by any authorized person as a sufficient evidence of fact (unless
there be demonstrable grounds to challenge its verity) and which upon notification immediately
constitutes sufficient grounds for the prompt alleviation, cessation or effective control of that
animal’s behaviour by any authorized person. This may include immediate impoundment,
particularly if the owner is absent from the premises.

3. That if an authorised person is of the opinion that the complaint, howsoever received, may be
mischievously motivated or lacking in substance, he may decline to intervene to the extent
desired by the complainant while declaring his reasons, but that if that complainant supplies (or
undertakes to supply) a Statutory Declaration in support of his allegation, then its provision (or
stated intent to provide it) immediately constitutes a sufficient cause for the authorized person
to intervene forthwith as if the complaint’s validity was absolute.

4. That if a complaint is proven to be wilfully malicious the penalty for this deception be
maximised at double that financial penalty which would have been imposed upon the dog’s owner
if the offence mischievously alleged had been proven.