Thursday, April 25, 2024

Gold Coast Council tightens leash on pet ownership

City of Gold Coast Council has implemented new Animal Management Local Laws to ensure responsible pet ownership for the safety of the community and the protection of native wildlife.

Fines for not keeping a dog under effective control and not keeping a pet contained within a property have been increased to deter poor behaviour.

New requirements have also been introduced to ensure the proper containment of dogs within koala map areas to prevent dog attacks on koalas.

The increases in animal local law fines and changed rules come following extensive community consultation, with participants in support of tougher local laws around responsible pet ownership.

“We have listened to the community and addressed their concerns regarding public safety when it comes to dogs and the responsibility of their owners,” said Mayor, Tom Tate.

“The changes will start today, and the message is simple. If you are in public with your dog, it must be on a leash, you need to have control of your dog in off-leash areas and have secure property fencing to ensure they and the community are kept safe.

“With an increase in dogs now living on the Gold Coast and almost 700 dog attacks reported each year, we need to hold dog owners accountable and put a stop to any irresponsible and dangerous behaviour.”

The changes also make it easier to understand animal noise nuisance laws, reduce red tape by removing some permit types and help protect the city’s koala populations, the Mayor said.

“Taking measures to prevent interactions between a koala entering areas of your property which are accessible by your dog and providing structures to help koalas escape if they manage to find their way in, will reduce harm to our precious native wildlife,” he said.

The amendments introduce new or revised penalties for various offences.

Penalty notice increases include:

  • Not keeping your dog under effective control $154 to $619
  • Not keeping your pet contained within your property $154 to $464
  • Not meeting the minimum standard for keeping a pet $154 to $309
  • Not meeting koala conservation requirements for your dog $309

Limits to the number of some types of animals able to be kept on a property are also being removed or relaxed where they are situated on large rural or semi-rural allotments.

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