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Have your say on local animal controls

Cute puppy and kitten.

Monday 22 June 2020

Mount Alexander Shire Council is inviting community members to complete a survey to provide feedback on the control of cats and dogs in the shire as part of a review of local animal controls.

The feedback will be used to develop a new law known as an Order of Council for the sensible control of cats and dogs in the shire.

Local councils play an important role in making laws about pet ownership and controlling dogs and cats in their area to protect the safety and amenity of the community.

“The proposed Order of Council will provide dog and cat owners with a clear understanding of when and where their pet needs to be placed under effective control,” said Mr Jeffry Amy, Coordinator Community Safety and Amenity.

“It will also consider differences between urban and rural parts of the shire by allowing for variation in less densely populated areas,” he said.

The proposed order would also support Council’s broader objective of increasing responsible pet ownership and the proactive control of dogs and cats in public places.

“What these controls look like, and how they operate, will be informed by community feedback,” said Mr Amy.

“We know there are some expectations that there should be restrictions placed on dog owners in how they allow their pets to interact with other members of the public.

“Some councils are also introducing cat curfews and other initiatives to limit prowling and reduce the impact on local wildlife, following a push from their community,” he said.

“We want to develop an approach that best suits our community, so we encourage anyone with a view on this matter to complete a survey, whether you are a pet owner or not.”

The survey looks at community views on matters like where dogs should be allowed on or off-lead and different options for cat curfews.

Following a review of community feedback, staff will draft a new Order of Council that will be considered by Council at a public meeting later in the year.

If adopted, staff will undertake a shire-wide education program to ensure residents and visitors are familiar with the new Order of Council as it comes into effect.

Councils have wide powers under the Domestic Animals Act 1994 to make laws and ensure they are followed by issuing fines and taking further action. A proposed Order of Council would not apply to working dogs or guide / assistance dogs while under duty.

Visit the Have your Say section of Council’s website to complete the survey or pick up a hard copy from the Castlemaine Library or Visitor Information Centre. The survey will close on Friday 17 July.

For more information, or to obtain a copy of the survey, contact Mr Jeffry Amy, Coordinator Community Safety and Amenity, on 5471 1700, or visit www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au/HaveYourSay.

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