Samantha Cornell (left) has supported moves by the government to introduce tough new dog laws after her son Wayne Cornell was attacked two weeks ago.
Samantha Cornell (left) has supported moves by the government to introduce tough new dog laws after her son Wayne Cornell was attacked two weeks ago. Dave Noonan

Mauled boy's mum praises pet laws

THE mother of a 12-year-old Toowoomba boy who was viciously mauled by a dangerous dog has praised the State Government's push to hold negligent owners criminally liable.

Samantha Cornell was left devastated when her son Wayne was attacked by a german shepherd in Grey St two weeks ago.

Wayne sustained deep bite wounds to both his legs in the attack and has since undergone skin graft surgery.

Queensland Attorney-General Paul Lucas announced at the weekend a proposal to amend the Queensland Criminal Code with the intention of having a specific provision dealing with serious injury or death caused by a dangerous dog.

Under the proposal, the amendment to the Criminal Code would make it clear that owners of dangerous dogs who attack or kill someone could be criminally liable, facing up to 10 years in jail.

"This is about making sure that the message to dog owners is loud and clear," Mr Lucas said.

"If they are not properly controlling their pet and it maims or kills a child or adult, then they could be criminally liable for their action," he added.

However, for Wayne's mother, the proposed change to the law is well overdue.

"I certainly welcome the move and it is long overdue. People need to take more responsibility for their animals and their actions," Ms Cornell said.

The german shepherd responsible for attacking Wayne was euthanised at the weekend.

 

Dog attacks

  • Each year in Queensland, an average of 1200 children present to hospital emergency departments as a  result of dog attacks.
  • 18% of these require admission.
  • Children under five are most at risk.
  • Of those attacked, 78% are family or friends of the dog owners.
  • 81% of attacks occur in the person's own home.

 


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