Have your say on proposed animal management laws

Date published: 23 September 2021

Townsville residents are invited to have their say on proposed changes to the animal management local law.

The proposed amendments were considered at the Full Council meeting yesterday. Feedback can be provided through Have Your Say Townsville until Friday 22 October.

Community Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability Committee chairperson Maurie Soars said the amendments had been proposed to ensure the animal management law kept pace with the city’s growth.

“Since this report went through the committee meeting two weeks ago, there has been a lot of public conversation and discussion about the changes. This is the community’s opportunity to provide that feedback to us through a formal channel,” Cr Soars said.

“There are over 32,000 registered dogs and 3,700 approved cats throughout the city, so we know that we are a community that loves our animal companions.

“As we continue to grow and more people make Townsville their home, it’s important that we adjust our local law to ensure that our residents are safe and that pet owners are responsible and considerate of others.

“Last year Council received 7,100 customer requests that related to animal management, including 584 excess animal complaints and more than 1,100 barking dog complaints.”

Cr Soars said the proposed amendments would adjust requirements around how many animals could be kept in areas across the city, improved definitions of adequate enclosures and the implementation a rehoming provision.

“These proposed amendments to the animal management local law strikes that balance between allowing residents to keep their pets while also ensuring that it doesn’t impact the amenity of the area,” he said.

“This includes the implementation of rehoming orders to protect animals that are the victims of irresponsible pet ownership and adjusting the definition of an adequate enclosures.

“To further protect residents and animals, we’ve included limits for how many dogs a person can have under their effective control in a dog park and strengthened the seizure powers for animals that have been found in breach on numerous occasions.”

Cr Soars said that Magnetic Island had been a major focus for the review, following representations made by Island residents requesting amendments to the law.

“Some of the most significant amendments proposed are at the request of community members, particularly the changes to cat ownership on Magnetic Island,” Cr Soars said.

“These changes are suggested to include no new cats on the Island, the desexing of all cats currently approved, not allowing cats to visit the Island and enforcement of cats being contained in a house or cat enclosure.”

Other amendments include:

  • Reducing the maximum number of dogs and cats a person can keep on an allotment
  • No keeping large animals or roosters unless the property is zoned as rural residential or rural
  • Registration of cats
  • Kennels and catteries to only be considered for certain activities on property zoned as rural residential or rural
  • Changes to minimum standards for keeping of animals, particularly around noise and odour

To have your say, visit https://haveyoursay.townsville.qld.gov.au/