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Rusty's owners to sue council 22 point dog identification flawed.

tybrax
November 1st, 2008, 08:50 AM
THE GYMPIE TIMES
30TH OCT. 2008.
BY CRAIG WARHURST.

THE ongoing saga of Rusty the dog and his misidentification is about "to be played out for the second time, according to Rusty's owner Daryn Willis.
Mr Willis says he is going the Gympie Regional Council and staff members for the misuse of power (Misfeasance)by a public officer.
The alleged misuse of power relates back to a year long struggle Mr. Willis had with Council dog control officers who believed Rusty may have been a dangerous American pit bull terrier a prohibited breed.
Mr. Willis Claims Council continued to harrass his family by bringing police on to his property while council officers assessed Rusty, asking for DNA samples and numerous other calls challenging Rusty's true identity, all after Mr Willls showed Council a letter form his Barrister Stephen Clinton Fynes.
The letter told Council of Supreme Court proceedings that firstly saved Rusty form Redcliffe City Council's dog death row after they to thought he was a dangerous breed.
A second Supreme Court Case in 2006 saved another dog in Logan City and exposed the 22 point checklist, used by Councils across Queensland to identify dangerous breeds, as seriously flawed and may be misidentifying innocent family dogs form all over the state.
Mr. Willis says Gympie Regional Council dog control officers continued to use the 22 point checklist, the same test that misidentified Rusty in Redcliffe: even after Councils own legal form King and Company alerted them and other Qld Councils to its inherent problems in 2006.

The dog owner said all he wanted form Council was an apology for staff actions, an assurance Gympie Regional Council would not use the 22 point checklist as a means to harass any other innocent dogs, in the region and to leave his family alone.

But Mr. Willis claims instead of apologising the Council tried to intimidate him by getting lawyers to do there bidding. "Unfortunately this leaves me know other action , but to do the same," Mr.Willis said.
A Gympie Regional Council spokesman said they have been using the 22 point checklist as a tool to identify banned dog breeds since 2002, but wasn't destroying dogs.

He said the Council hadn't banned dangerous breeds like some other Councils, but owners had to comply with the sate legislation.
Gympie Regional Council Chief executive officer Ken Mason said he wouldn't comment on Court action but all Council was asking Mr. Willis to do was be a responsible dog owner, register his pet and keep it under control.
Mr. Mason said Council had decided to take know further action against Rusty because it is hard to positively identify the dog.
Mr. Willis has applied to Council under the Freedom of Information Act for over 200 documents relating to Gympie Regional Council officers alleged harassment.

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GYMPIE TIMES QLD
30TH OCT.2008.
CRAIG WARHURST.

DOG IDENTITY TEST "MORALLY WRONG"


Up to 15,000 innocent dogs from all over Queensland may have been put down

because of the flawed 22 point checklist used to identify American pit bull terriers according to paralegal researcher John Mokomoko.

Mr. Mokomoko spoke to The Gympie times from his Gold Coast office this week after helping Daryn Willis in his fight against the Gympie Regional Council.

He said the 22 point identity test used by the Qld Councils, including the Gympie Regional Council, where a dog scoring 45 points and over out of 66 is declared an American pit bull terrier and euthanased, was flawed and 'MORALLY WRONG'.

He cited two Supreme Court Cases and advice from Gympie Regional Council's own law firm, King and Co, to support his claims and warned councilors and officers they could be up for tens of thousand of dollars in damages claims for dogs misidentified, harassed or killed under the system.



'King & Company (legal firm) had advised councils back in 2006 to investigate other ways to identify prohibited breeds rather than the 22 point checklist test, 'Mr. Mokomoko said.

'Its impossible to visually look at a dog and determine what type it is because so many cross breeds can look similar to American pit bulls.

'I can list at least four cases in Gympie we know of since then (2006), where people have had animals put down because of the test.

'Thatís taking someoneís property and destroying it under false pretences,' he said.

Mr.Mokomoko said pet owners could only stop the destruction orders by taking councils to court and for ordinary people the cost made it inpossible.



The researcher said he had turned over 32 cases of misidentification of restricted breeds in South East Qld during the past three years and he has six law firms ready to work on the test case.

'Daryn Willis isn't vindictive,' Mr.Mokomoko said. 'He has been pushed to far and doesn't want this to happen to anyone else. Gympie Regional Council pushed it right to the limit.

'We were prepared to except an apology and assurance that they would stop using the 22 point checklist and self trained identification experts. He was prepared to let things drop, but they went too far,' he said.

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tybrax:D