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THE LAW AND YOUR PET

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No matter where we live in Australia we are subject to 'Local Laws' which are made for the good management of the community. They cover areas ranging from parking restrictions, noise control, rubbish disposal - and management of pets.

Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world with over two-thirds of Australian households owning a pet of some kind.

Since the majority of Australians live in urban areas it is obvious that there needs to be some rules to determine how pet owners manage their pets in a way which benefits them, and their pets, and does not cause nuisance to the community. Socially responsible pet ownership is really just common sense and good manners but in a time when government at all levels is becoming more involved in the life's of citizens it is important that pet owners are aware of the laws governing ownership of pets in their community.

Laws about pet ownership are set by both State governments and local Councils. Often it is the State Government which sets the laws for registration requirements, dangerous dog laws, etc, with local government determining the actual fees for registration, on-lead and off-lead areas, and numbers of animals which may be kept on a property. Local government is responsible for policing the laws, both local and State.

In most States of Australia registration of dogs is on a fee-based annual basis, dogs are
required to wear identification such as a Council registration tag and/or be microchipped, while in some States registration or compulsory identification also applies to cats. Fee structures for registration usually are higher for animals which are not desexed, and sometimes have a pensioner discount or lower fees for microchipped, spayed, pedigree registered or obedience trained animals.

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In most areas Councils will require dogs in public places to be under effective control of their owners at all times when in public places. Some Councils consider 'effective control' to be onlead. Many Councils provide off-lead areas or dog parks where dogs can be given free running and a chance to socialize with other dogs.

Councils may also restrict dogs from areas - such as beaches. During summer months many beaches have a 'no dogs' policy or set hours when dogs may be allowed on the beach.

State and Federal Government also have laws prohibiting dogs from both State and National Parks and other conservation areas.

Local government polices the number of animals which may be kept on a property, in many
urban areas the limit is 2 dogs and/or 2 cats and a permit must be applied for to keep more than the permitted number of animals. Local laws may also prohibit the keeping of certain species of animals, or limit the number of horses, rabbits, mice, guinea pigs, cage birds, large parrots etc. which may be kept.

Local government will also respond to complaints about barking dogs and most have laws
which require pet owners to minimize the nuisance from noise created by their animals.
Picking up your dog's faeces when it soils in public places is also enforced in most areas with substantial fines for those who do not bother.

Most local laws are continually added to or altered and it is important for pet owners to be
aware of changes and also to be aware of intended changes and to be part of the consulting process in the formation of local laws affecting pets.




Petcare Information and Advisory Service Australia

Last Update: 18/04/08 11:34 Views: 5702

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