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Dogs

Dogs are important and valued companions of many residents and we want you and your dog to be happy. But not everyone likes dogs all the time. Council also has to protect community health, safety, amenity and wildlife  – it is our legal responsibility under the Dog Control Act and Dog Control Regulations.

Under this Act Council maintains a Brighton Dog Management Policy with a Code of Responsibilities and declared areas, where you can take your dog off lead (new dog areas to be developed from 2019/20) or on lead for exercise, where other restrictions apply or where dogs are not permitted anytime.

Remember being a responsible dog owner is your responsibility!

The Animal Control Officer regularly patrols all areas and an after-hours service is available only for emergency dog attacks. Officers do not collect stray dogs after-hours.

For more information about responsible dog ownership phone the Brighton Council Animal Control Officers on (03) 6268 7000, 8.15am – 4.45pm (Mon – Fri).

Dog Registrations must be paid by the 31st July to be eligible for a discount.  Full fees will apply after the 31st July, failure to pay this registration will result in further action being taken against you, the dog owner.

In accordance with the Dog Control Act 2000, every dog over the age of six months must be registered by its owner with their local Council. This is a legal requirement and it is an offence if not complied with.

Registration is for a financial year and is due and payable by 31 July each year.

 

Registration forms are available from the Council Office or by clicking here.

Once the form has been completed it needs to be brought into the Council offices so that relevant details can be confirmed before payment is made.

You may also register your dog over the telephone by calling 6268 7000.

The following information is held in the Council’s dog register:

  • dog’s name
  • age
  • sex and reproductive capacity
  • dog breed if identifiable
  • microchip number
  • owner’s name and address, contact details and DOB

Do I have to microchip my dog?

In accordance with the Dog Control Act 2000, every dog over the age of six months must be microchipped. Some exceptions apply ie. working dogs. This is a legal requirement and it is an offence if not complied with.

New Dog Registrations

If your dog has not been previously registered with the Brighton Council, you must register your dog in person at the Council Offices and provide a microchip number.

Concession Cards

If you are claiming Pension Concession or Health Care Card Concession you must register it in person at the Council Offices. The concession rate applies to one dog per owner.

Change of Details to your Dog Registration

If details of your Dog Registration have changed, you should notify Brighton Council prior to making payment.  This can be done in person or by mail.

Evidence of Classifications for Dog Registrations

The following evidence needs to be produced prior to your dog being registered in the appropriate class.

Desexed Dog
Certificate of sterilisation from veterinary surgeon that the dog is sterilised or the provision of a Statutory Declaration.

Pure Breed Dogs
Certificate of registration and pedigree issued by the Tasmanian Canine Association (TCA) or equivalent interstate certification, plus current membership card of TCA.

Working Dog
ABN number relating to farming business.  Only applies to breeds recognised as working dogs by the Tasmanian Canine Association.

Greyhound
Registration Certificate of the Tasmanian Greyhound Racing Council

 

What are my responsibilities as a dog owner?

As the owner or person in charge of a dog, you have certain responsibilities and legal requirements. These include:

  • registering a dog that is over the age of six months
  • providing a microchip number to Council for a dog that is over the age of six months
  • keeping your dog on a lead when you are walking on a road, footpath or town
  • ensuring that the dog does not roam and that it is under your effective control
  • restricting your dog sufficiently while it is in or on a vehicle so that it is unable to leave the vehicle or attack any person or animal outside the vehicle
  • preventing your dog from rushing at, or chasing a moving vehicle or bicycle whilst in a public place
  • making sure that a bitch on heat is confined away from public places
  • cleaning up after your dog.

Does my dog have to wear a collar?

Under the Dog Control Act 2000, the owner or person in charge of a dog, other than a guide dog or hearing dog, must ensure that the dog is wearing a collar whilst in public. The dog’s current registration tag should be attached to the collar. It is an offence for anyone, without a good reason, to unfasten the collar

This provision does not apply to dogs engaged in:

  • working
  • hunting
  • racing
  • showing
  • obedience or agility trials
  • training for any of the above activities.

 

Does my dog have to be on a lead in public areas?

The Dog Control Act 2000 has provisions for dogs which are, and which are not on a lead, whilst in a public place. If a dog is off a lead and in a public place, then the dog is still said to be under effective control if the following applies:

  • the dog is in close proximity to the person
  • the dog is in sight of the person
  • the person handling the dog can demonstrate satisfactorily to an authorised person that the dog will immediately respond to their commands.

To be under effective control on a road or footpath a dog must be on a lead. If the dog is on a lead, it is said to be under effective control only if the lead is less than two metres long, and if the person is of a sufficient age and strength to control the dog.

If a dog is tethered to a stationary object, it must be a lead which is less than two metres long, and for a period not exceeding 30 minutes.

 

Where can I exercise my dog?

The Dog Control Act 2000 provides for a Council to set aside areas for the exercising of dogs, subject to any specified conditions.

  • Dogs are prohibited from all sports grounds/ovals, including their perimeters.
  • any grounds of a school, pre-school, kindergarten, creche or other place where children assemble, without the permission of the person in charge of that place
  • shopping centres and other shops
  • within 10 metres of a children’s playground.

Refer to Council’s Dog Management Plan

The Dog Management plan is currently being reviewed and will incorporate a ‘Dog off lead’ area.

 

Are there areas where my dog is not allowed?

As well as earmarking areas for exercising dogs, the Dog Control Act 2000 enables Councils to declare areas where dogs are not allowed. These can include areas of sensitive habitat for native wildlife. This does not apply to guide dogs or hearing dogs, which are still allowed access.

The Council may declare an area to be one where dogs are restricted from entering (refer Dog Management Plan).

Under the Dog Control Act 2000 there are other public places where dogs are prohibited. These include:

  • any grounds of a school, pre-school, kindergarten, creche or other place where children assemble, without the permission of the person in charge of that place
  • shopping centres and other shops
  • any playing area of a sportsground on which sport is being played
  • within 10 metres of a children’s playground.

This does not apply to:

  • a guide dog that is accompanying a wholly or partially blind person, or is in training for that purpose
  • a hearing dog that is accompanying a wholly or partially deaf person or is in training for that purpose
  • a pet shop
  • the premises of a veterinary surgeon
  • a pet-grooming shop
  • any other premises related to the care and management of dogs.

 

Do I have to clean up after my dog?

When exercising your dog in a public place (including street or nature strip), you are always required to clean up after them. Dog faeces are unpleasant and damage the environment. Cleaning up can be done simply and easily with the aid of a scooper or plastic bag and placing the faeces into the nearest rubbish bin.

Council has strategically placed dog poop bag dispensers and rubbish bins within the municipality.

Failure to clean up after your dog can result in a fine.

 

Can my dog be removed from my property?

If an authorised officer has reason to believe that a dog owner has breached a provision of the Dog Control Act 2000, then he or she is legally able to:

  • enter onto land owned or occupied by the dog owner, but not any dwelling on that land; and search for and seize any dog on that land.

If the authorised person wishes to enter a dwelling on that land, he or she is able to do so by a warrant issued by a magistrate.

 

How many dogs may I keep?

Council does not allow 2 or more dogs to be kept in a residential zone i.e. Bridgewater, Gagebrook, Herdsmans Cove, Brighton and Old Beach townships etc.

If you have more dogs than noted above and do not have a current Kennel Licence, you can be liable to a fine.

Under the Dog Control Act 2000, you are required to apply for a Kennel Licence if you intend to keep:

  • more than two dogs over the age of six months; or
  • more than four working dogs over the age of six months.

It is recommended that you contact Council officers to obtain information about the number of allowable dogs you may keep on a property.

If you need a Kennel Licence, you should also check with the Council about local planning laws as some councils require you to submit a Development Application as well.

 

What happens if I do not obey the Act and Regulations?

The following penalties are laid out in the Dog Control Act 2000.

Download the offences under the Dog Control Act 2000 and Find out how much a penalty unit is HERE.

What is a dangerous dog?

The following penalties are laid out in the Dog Control Act 2000

Dogs may be declared dangerous if they have:

  • caused serious injury to a person or other animal
  • displayed behaviour that shows the animal is likely to cause serious injury.

If either of the above occurs, the General Manager is able to serve notice on the owner of the dog in question, and declare the dog to be dangerous.

When this happens, the owner of the dog has added responsibilities. Whilst their dog is out in public, they must ensure that:

  • the dog is always muzzled
  • the dog’s lead is no longer than two metres and strong enough to control and restrain the dog
  • the person in charge of the dog is over 18 years of age.

When the dog is on private premises the owner must ensure that:

  • the dog is enclosed in a child proof area
  • the dog is secured by a lead no longer than two metres when not under the supervision of an adult.

In addition, the dog must be microchipped and always wear an approved collar.

The collar approved (by the Director of Local Government) is red and yellow striped.

Once a dog has been microchipped, the chip cannot be removed without the consent of the General Manager. If it is removed without consent, you can be liable to a fine (see table of offences).

If you own a dog that has been declared dangerous, you must also ensure that there are approved warning signs on every entrance to your property. The Animal Control/’Compliance Officer will be able to tell you what form these signs and collars should take.

 

What is a nuisance dog?

A nuisance dog is generally one that:

  • behaves in a dangerous way towards any person
  • is often noisy or disturbs the comfort and convenience of neighbours, or anyone in a public place.

As a dog owner, you are responsible for ensuring that your pet is kept under control and does not become a nuisance. Neighbours can complain if your dog unreasonably disturbs the peace, and you risk being fined if you fail to prevent the disturbance.

If you are being annoyed by a neighbour’s dog, the best way to handle the situation is to discuss your concerns in a friendly way with your neighbour. If this fails to resolve the problem, the next step is to speak with the Animal Control/Compliance Officer. Lodging a formal complaint with the Council should be your last resort, and to do so you will need to complete an appropriate form, pay a fee, and explain the nature and severity of the disturbance.

Further information is available by contacting Council Officers on 6268 7000.

 

Can I keep a guard dog?

If you wish to keep a guard dog, you need to notify the General Manager in writing. The General Manager will then declare the dog to be a dangerous dog, and the provisions relating to dangerous dogs will then apply.

When the dog is no longer employed as a guard dog, you can again notify the General Manager in writing, and he/she may revoke the declaration of dangerous dog.

 

What happens if my dog leaves my property and is impounded?

Under the Dog Control Act 2000, an authorised officer (usually the Animal Control/Compliance Officer) can apprehend and impound your dog if it is found at large outside your property.

If the dog is wearing a registration tag, the General Manager has to let you know in writing that your dog has been impounded, and tell you that the dog can be reclaimed. If, after five working days after the owner has received the notice, the dog has not been reclaimed, the General Manager may sell, destroy or otherwise dispose of the dog.

If the dog isn’t wearing a registration tag or isn’t microchipped and the owner is unidentifiable, the General Manager has to make reasonable inquiries to identify the rightful owner. If unsuccessful in locating the owner, he/she is authorised after not less than three working days to sell, destroy or otherwise dispose of the dog to the Hobart Dog’s Home.

Under the Dog Control Act 2000, if your dog has been seized, impounded and reclaimed you will be liable for the following:-

  • any fees due in relation to the dog’s seizure and detention (release fee from Hobart Dogs Home and their associated fees)
  • the appropriate registration/microchip fee if the dog isn’t already registered/microchipped
  • You will also be liable for a Dog at Large fine if your dog is reclaimed from the Hobart Dogs Home or Council Office.

 

When can a dog be destroyed by me?

The Dog Control Act 2000 states that it is legal to restrain or destroy a dog under the following circumstances:

  • if a dog is attacking you personally
  • if you see a dog attacking another person, another animal, or a guide dog or hearing dog.

If the situation calls for you to restrain a dog that is at large, you need to notify the Council as soon as possible after the event.

If you are a primary producer and you have livestock that need to be protected, you have the legal right to destroy any dog that is found at large on your property. It is recommended that such a primary producer seeks independent legal advice in respect to their rights and responsibilities for the manner of destruction of the dog in these circumstances.

In extreme cases where a dog has been destroyed, the person who has carried out the deed must notify the Council within 14 working days and return the dog’s registration tag if any was worn.

An authorised Council officer or a veterinary surgeon may also seize or destroy a dog if:

  • its behaviour is likely to cause injury to another person or animal
  • it has already caused injury or death to another person or animal
  • it is found in such a distressed or disabled state that it is considered kinder to prevent it further suffering.

If a dog has been seized and destroyed, the authorised Council employee or veterinary surgeon must also notify the Council of the animal’s death, and the reasons why it was destroyed.

There is also a provision in the Dog Control Act 2000 that requires anyone who destroys a dog to do so quickly and humanely, without causing the animal unnecessary suffering.

See question: “What happens if my dog leaves my property and is impounded?” for instances where the Council has a right to dispose of dogs.

 

Can I be fined if my dog strays into my neighbour’s yard?

Your neighbours are entitled to enjoy their garden and backyard without having your dog roaming around in it. It is every dog owner’s responsibility to ensure that his or her dog is under control at all times. Owners who do not control their dogs risk being fined for each occasion their dog strays.

 

Can I be fined if my dog barks?

Yes, you may be fined. Under the Dog Control Act 2000 you must not allow your dog to be or become a nuisance to your neighbours, or to the general public. If sufficiently annoyed, people can complain and owners may be fined if they fail to prevent their dog from disturbing people with incessant barking.

 

OTHER ANIMALS

Can my other animals be impounded by Council?

The Council may impound any animal found straying or at large on any highway or on any land owned by, or under the control of, the council.

Contact Council on 6268 7000 if you believe Council may have impounded your animal/s.

 

What animals can I keep on my residential property?

It may be easier to read what animals are prohibited in a residential zone. Please check Council’s Environmental Health By-law HERE, or contact the Environmental Health Office on 6268 7000.

If the unfortunate situation arises and your dog dies, you are obliged to notify the Council in writing within 14 days of the dog’s death. This also applies if your dog is lost, or permanently removed from your premises. Once notified, the Council will cancel your dog’s registration.

 

Should your dog be sold or given to another person, the person who buys your dog will need to notify the Council of the change of ownership, in writing, within 14 days of the sale. As the previous owner, you must contact Council to notify us that you no longer own the dog.