PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 December, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 December, 1994, 12:00am

THE tragic incident earlier this year whereby a young girl was mauled to death by a Great Dane caused local legislators to propose a law restricting ownership of and discriminating against any large size dog, be it of a harmless and friendly temperament or vicious and aggressive in nature.

I am afraid that the process of registration, neutering, permanent muzzling and the cost of insurance, will tempt many owners of large dogs to abandon them or perhaps even take them to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) where they will likely be put to death.

I agree that vicious dogs must be controlled and the owners held responsible, however, I object strongly to the victimisation of all other large dogs. Is it really necessary to stereotype all big dogs, when a small dog is capable of being just as vicious when provoked under certain circumstances? Our family dog is a mix of Great Dane and falls into the size category in question. We obtained him from the RSPCA last year, where we had him neutered, and I have spent a substantial amount of time and effort to train him. His temperament is such that he would not harm a fly, and he is the best companion for my four and six-year-old children.

The thought of muzzling him and having him permanently restrained, makes me wonder if it might be kinder to have him put down to save him from such an ordeal.