Dog Control

For further details about Dog Control please call our Customer Care team on (03) 6397 7303.

Dog Owner Responsibilities
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 and microchipping it
  • keeping your dog on a lead when you are walking on a road or footpath in a city or town
  • ensuring that the dog does not roam and that it is under your effective control
  • restricting 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. (See Schedule 1 - Offences of the Dog Control Regulations 2010) - please note that one penalty unit equals $154.00

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 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 in a city or town 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 by 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 for the exercising of dogs, subject to any specified conditions. (See Schedule 1 - Offences of the Dog Control Regulations 2010) - please note that one penalty unit equals $154.

Northern Midlands Municipality Dog Exercise Areas

Longford 

Coronation Park

  • Doggy bags
  • Garbage bin
  • Seating
  • Water tap
  • Secure (fully fenced)

Union Street

  • Doggy bags
  • Garbage bin
  • Secure (Ring lock rural fencing)

Perth

Arthur/ Mulgrave Street

  • Doggy bags
  • Garbage bin
  • Seating
  • Rural fencing (not secure)

Cressy

Old Stock Route

  • Doggy bags
  • Rural fencing (not secure)

Evandale

Honeysuckle Banks

  • Doggy bags
  • Garbage bin
  • Seating
  • River access
  • No fencing (not secure)

Saddlers Reserve

  • Doggy bags
  • Garbage bin
  • Secure (fully fenced)
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.

Council may declare an area to be one where dogs are restricted from entering:

  • during specified hours, days or seasons
  • during specified hours, days or seasons, unless they are on a lead

There are other public places where dogs are prohibited. These include:

  • any grounds of a school, preschool, kindergarten, creche or other place where children assemble, without the permission of the person in charge of that place
  • shopping centres and other shops
  • the grounds of a public swimming pool
  • any playing area of a sports ground 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 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.

This does not apply to a guide dog that is accompanying a wholly or partially blind person.

Failure to clean up after your dog can result in a fine of up to $390. (See Schedule 1 - Offences of the Dog Control Regulations 2010) - please note that one penalty unit equals $130.00

Rain dissolves dog faeces and it is washed into our waterways. Marine plant and animal life is affected by this pollution. Australian beaches are closed for several days after rain because of this type of pollution. Dog faeces contain E-coli bacteria which can cause ongoing illness in people including vomiting, diarrhoea, and ear, nose and throat infections

Northern Midlands Council encourages dog owners to carry bags for collection of the dog's faeces. Council provides dog bag dispenser units at each designated dog exercise area (see "Where can I exercise my dog?").

Can my dog be removed from my property?

If an authorised council employee 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 by a warrant issued by a magistrate.

How many dogs may I keep?

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.

If you have more dogs than this and do not have a current kennel licence you can be liable to a fine of up to $650 (See Schedule 1 - Offences of the Dog Control Regulations 2010) - please note that one penalty unit equals $130.00. In this case you should apply to your local council for a kennel licence.

If you need a kennel licence you should also check with your local council about local planning laws as some councils require you to submit a Development Application as well.

Licence Procedures

Applicant must put an advertisement in the Examiner Newspaper (Wednesday) of their intention to apply for a Licence. This advertisement cost is to be paid by the applicant.

The Applicant must complete a Licence form and pay the prescribed fee. A copy of the advertisement must accompany the application and fee.

Once the application has been received the Dog Control Officer will inspect the premises where the dogs are to be kept.

Any person residing within 200 metres of the applicant's property may make a written objection to Council within 14 days of the advertisement.

After 28 days Council may consider the application any may then issue in a form of a "Licence" under the Dog Control Act 2000.

The names of the people who hold the licence are recorded in a Council database.

Click here to view the Kennel Licence Application form, sample newspaper advertisement and current fees.

Registration
Do I have to register my dog?

According to the Dog Control Act 2000, every dog over the age of 6 months must be registered by its owner with their local council. It is a legal requirement, and trying to avoid this by concealing or disposing of a dog is a punishable offence. (See Schedule 1 - Offences of the Dog Control Regulations 2010) - please note that one penalty unit equals $130.00

In the Northern Midlands the annual registration fee is due by 31 August of each year.

Click here to view the current fees.

Dog registration forms are available here.

How old does my dog have to be before it has to be registered?

The Dog Control Act 2000 requires all dogs over the age of six months to be registered with the local council.

(See Schedule 1 - Offences of the Dog Control Regulations 2010) - please note that one penalty unit equals $130.00.

How do I register my dog?

Payment of Dog Registration fee may be made at the following:

Council Chambers, 13 Smith Street, Longford between 8:30 am and 4:45 pm
Service Tasmania Shop, High Street, Campbell Town between 10 am and 4 pm or
any Australia Post Office during normal working hours

Dog registration forms are available here.

Does my dog have to be microchipped?

Mandatory microchipping of dogs is planned to take effect from 1 July 2011. From that date, all dogs over six months of age will have to be microchipped. 

Please click here for further information regarding microchipping of dogs.

To update your dog's microchip details, please contact one of the following services:

Australian Animal Registry
Phone: (02) 9704 1450

National Pet Register
Phone:  1300 734 738

Central Animal Records
Phone:  (03) 9706 3187

If unsure of where your pet’s microchip details are registered, please go to Pet Address.

What information is kept about registered dogs?

The following information is held in the council's dog register:

  • the dog's name, age, sex and reproductive capacity
  • the dog breed if identifiable
  • any identifiable feature of the dog
  • whether the dog is a dangerous dog
  • the owner's name and address
  • any other information about the dog the council considers relevant
What happens if I move house?

If you are moving house permanently, you will need to notify the council. This needs to be done within 14 days of moving. If you're transferring to a different municipal area, both your old and new councils will need to be notified in writing.

What happens if I sell or give my dog to someone else?

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 notify the General Manager in writing that you no longer own the dog. This must occur within 14 days of the sale. (See Schedule 1 - Offences of the Dog Control Regulations 2010) - please note that one penalty unit equals $130.00

What happens if my dog dies?

If the unfortunate situation arises and your pet 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.

Controlling Dogs
What is a dangerous dog?

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 had 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 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 had been microchipped the chip cannot be removed without the consent of the General Manager.  If it is removed without consent the maximum possible penalty is $2600.

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.  

Approved collars and warning signs are available to be purchased from Council.  Please click here to view fees.

More more information on dangerous dogs please click here.

What is a restricted breed of dog?

Dogs of a breed which have been banned from importation into Australia may be declared restricted breed dogs.  Five breeds were banned from importation into Australia over 15 years ago, these were:

Dogo Argentino
Fila Brasileiro
Japanese Tosa
American Pitbull Terrier
Presa Canario

Amendments to the Dog Control Act 2000 were made in 2009, introducing new controls with the aim of increasing public safety and highlighting the responsibilities of owners.

Please click here for further information on restricted breeds of dogs.

You must contact your local Council if you own a restricted breed dog or intend to own one of these dogs.

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 your local animal control 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.

Click here to view the complaint form and current fees.

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 a dangerous 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 may revoke the declaration of dangerous dog. (See Schedule 1 - Offences of the Dog Control Regulations 2010) - please note that one penalty unit equals $130.00

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

Under the Dog Control Act 2000, an authorised council officer (usually the animal control officer) of the council can apprehend and impound your dog if ti 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 recieved 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 and the owner is unidentifiable, the General Manager has to make resonable 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.

Under the Dog Control Act 2000, if your dog has been seized and impounded, you will be given five working after having received the notice to pay:

any fees due in relation to the dog's seizure and detention
any other fees or charges that are applicable under the Act (See Schedule 1 - Offences of the Dog Control Regulations 2010) - please note that one penalty unit equals $130.00.
the appropriate registration fee if the dog isn't already registered. Please see "How do I register my dog?" for further information.

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 "What happens if my dog leaves my property and is impounded?" for instances where 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 up to $650 each time their dog strays (See Schedule 1 - Offences of the Dog Control Regulations 2010) - please note that one penalty unit equals $130.00

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

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 up to $650 if they fail to prevent their dog from disturbing people with incessant barking (see Schedule 1 - Offences of the Dog Control Regulations 2010) - please note that one penalty unit equals $130.00

See "What is a nuisance dog?" for related information.