Temporary signs installed by the City of Swan after a dog baiting letter was removed.

Bennett Springs dog act

The letter was found two weeks ago taped to a bench at Bennett Springs Sportfield Oval on Bennett Springs Drive next to Beechboro Christian School.
March 21, 2024
Andrew Williams

DOG owners and residents near a Bennett Springs park have raised concerns after an anonymous letter was found threatening to drop poison bait.

The letter, now removed, was found two weeks ago taped to a bench at Bennett Springs Sportfield Oval, located on Bennett Springs Drive next to Beechboro Christian School.

“Be aware of dog baits placed specifically in this area randomly to control unresponsible owners of dogs off the lead which seems to be a constant thing on this sport field oval,” the letter began.

The author then referenced sections of the Dog Act 1976 regarding dog control.

“If you want your dog’s off the lead, go to the Whiteman Park dog exercise area. This current practice is against the rules and regulations of the Dog Act 1976 WA.

“In accordance with Section 31 and 32 of the Dog Act 1976 dogs are supposed to be on the lead and under control at all times on a sports field oval which is not currently happening,” it stated.

However, section 32 of the Act stipulates a dog can be off lead if “a competent person is in reasonable proximity to the dog.”

It goes on to define a competent person as someone who is liable for the control of the dog, capable of controlling it, and is carrying a lead, chain, cord, or harness.

In response to concerns raised by parkgoers, the City of Swan installed four temporary signs around the oval’s perimeter with short statements.

The signs include the following messages:

“Dogs are not under control if they chase or rush towards people or other animals.”

“Keep your best friend safe.”

“Our furry friends need exercise too, play responsibly”

“Don’t let your mate poo and walk”.

An RSPCA WA spokesperson said it had received a report about the threatening letter at the Bennett Springs Sportsfield Oval but acknowledged there were no reports of suspected or actual dog baiting in the area.

“Intentionally leaving baits for off-lead dogs could lead to a charge of animal cruelty which attracts a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $50,000 fine,” the spokesperson said.

City of Swan Mayor Tanya Richardson said the city was not aware of any baiting in the area.

“When the city was notified about the sign, staff attended the oval and removed it. Our rangers proactively patrol parks and we encourage dog owners to speak to them if they have any concerns.”

She said if anyone found evidence of baiting, they should contact the RSPCA or police.


Privately owned, proudly independent local news service.

ALL IMAGES & WORDS © 2023 Echo Newspaper
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram