Animal Law proposals A draft  by Matthew Ridgeway   It has been shown over many centuries that proper animal control has never been attained in our communities. Because of this we need drastic changes in our laws. The main issues involved are attacks on people and other animals, animal noise, animal pollution and waste, and animal neglect and abuses.  Here are a few ideas for laws that could help resolve many current issues and serve well into the future Licensing. Licensing is essential to ensure that those wanting animals in their lives keep them in a responsible way. The best way to educate people for pet ownership is through a licensing process. This will ensure that the potential pet owner knows his responsibilities at law and respects the needs of the community, and importantly, respects the legitimate requirements of the animal or animals to be kept. Licensing should be controlled at a national level to ensure consistency. Endorsements for breeders, and specially trained animal handlers, should be included in the licensing options. A license must be obtained BEFORE any animal can be bought or transferred to a new owner. Possession of an animal without the appropriate license should incur a substantial penalty. This is to encourage almost total owner participation.   A special note for licensing: Endorsements could be made available for breeders of animals, handlers for dogs trained for security purposes, border security, police work, emergency work for disasters, and guide dogs etc.   It is essential that any dog trained for attack purposes should be outlawed. The term“Guard Dog” implies that a dog is deliberately trained to cause human injury.  Endorsements for dog/animal trainers and animal transporters may be required also. Dog barking. This must be controlled within 3 minutes of any barking outbreak. No subsequent dog barking must be allowed for the following twenty four hours. Barking must incur a penalty wherein the owner either pays a nominal sum per bark, or pays a larger penalty for any subsequent barking in a twenty four hour period.   Dog owners always say that dog barking is what dogs do, and, that others should just get used to it. This is a totally unreasonable stand. The proper view should be that as a dog owner is aware that his dog can bark then he has a responsibility to control it. That is why a three minute doorway is made available to dog owners to allow control of his dog’s barking. Proper dog training should see a dog controlled throughout the day without barking. A dog will bark on occasions, but too frequently dog owners become lax in their control of their pets. Fines for dog barking should not be disputed by owners. For each refusal to pay, an interest rate of 100% should apply for every week the fine remains unpaid. Education. Pet owners should learn about the care of their pets before owning one. Before obtaining ANY pet, be it a dog, cat, snake, turtle, rabbit, or whatever it’s lawful to own, potential pet owners should be sorted out by way of a series of tests as to the appropriateness of their chosen pet. What needs testing is the attitude or mentality behind why the pet owner claims to need a particular type of pet, or pet breed. There are considerations regarding the place and circumstance where the pet is going to be kept, and that the provisions at that place are sufficient for such pets to live humanely and comfortably therein. There are also consideration about the ability of the pet owner to control such pets physically and practically. Consideration of the number of pets to be kept is important too, because a property containing an array of different animals could well impede the care of another animal in a person’s care.   Animal Containment. All animals should be so contained that escape into the community is impossible. A stray animal indicates poor containment, or neglect by the owner. Any injury or damage caused by a stray animal should compensated by the animal’s owner.  Dangerous animals, such as dogs, snakes and other biting animals need to be contained in a childproof enclosure.   Animal Control. Animals must be controlled by the owner at ALL times. An animal safely contained during an owner’s absence is acceptable, but noise and other community disturbances must be attended to immediately. If a pet owner cannot properly contain and attend to his animal, then the viability of pet ownership by this person must be reconsidered by the organization authorised to issue pet owner licenses. BIG FINES AND/OR PET REMOVAL WILL SURELY SECURE BETTER OWNER COMPLIANCE!