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Animal Regulations

Council believes that pet ownership by residents is a basic right for residents and one of the great joys of our society, and is committed to encouraging responsible pet ownership by asking residents to be aware of their legislative responsibilities, as well as the legitimate expectations of the rest of the community.

New animal management laws were introduced in the Hinchinbrook Shire from 1 July 2010 to encourage increased responsible pet ownership.

The State Government has strengthened the legislation concerning the management of dogs and cats, with the passing of the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008 and in force in the Shire since 1 July 2010.

The new Act places greater responsibility on the community as a whole and includes:

  • mandatory registration of dogs (including rural dogs) over the age of three months or acquired after 1 July 2010;
  • microchipping at point-of-sale and transfers of dogs and cats; and
  • mandatory microchipping of ALL dogs and cats acquired since 10 April 2009.

For more information on animal registrations please go to our animal registration web page.

Council also regulates and enforces the provisions of its Local Laws in relation to the keeping of animals as well as Animal Management within the Shire.  The Local Laws can be found on Council's website Current Local Laws page.

Council encourages responsible pet ownership and is committed to providing a safer community for all residents. This can be achieved by regulating and managing the keeping and control of animals in the Hinchinbrook Shire in such a way that:

  • balances community expectations with the rights of individuals; 
  • protects the community against risks to health and safety; 
  • prevents pollution and other environmental damage; and 
  • protects the amenity of the local community and environment.

As a responsible pet owner, you have an obligation to care for the health and well-being of your animal. Owning a pet can provide great joy and companionship but it does come with responsibility. You have a duty to ensure your pet's activities do not interfere with your neighbours or the environment.

All pets have their own characteristics or behaviour patterns. It is important that you select the animal that best complements your lifestyle. The type, breed, where you live, how you live, the cost of keeping a pet (including veterinary care, microchipping and registration fees), whether you have an adequate enclosure or fenced area to contain your pet, as well as what you want from a pet, should all be factored into your choice. 

Further information on the temperament of various dog or cat breeds together with their breed specific keeping requirements is readily available on the internet or from breeders.

What animals can I keep in a township?

All information pertaining to numbers and types of animals which are allowed to be kept or which require approval or are restricted are contained in Council's Local Laws. Depending on the number or species of animal or the size of the allotment where they are to be kept, you may need to apply for an Approval to Keep (including prescribed annual fee).

Responsible Pet Ownership Tips for Dog Owners

Dog ownership is a responsibility that is often taken too lightly. Dogs that were irresistible when they were puppies are often less attractive when they grow up. Before acquiring a dog intending owners should ask themselves a few searching questions:

  • Will the dog be left home alone, especially in its puppy stage?
  • Do I have time for daily obedience training? There is no more frustrating problem than an adult dog that has not been trained to come, to sit or to stay.
  • Am I prepared for the veterinary and registration costs of the dog?
  • Do I understand the proper dietary, exercise and grooming needs?
  • Is the chosen dog suited to the environment where it is to be kept?
  • Do I understand heartworm, its prevention and its consequences?
  • Do I have any idea of kennelling costs for dogs when I go on holidays? Indeed, many dog owners never take holidays – because of their dogs. Many others abandon their dogs, because they lose interest in the animal, especially when it stands in the way of their annual vacation.
  • Am I aware of my legal obligations to keep my dog in compliance with Council Animal Control Local Laws and Policy?

If you can answer these kinds of questions, you are one of three types. You are either a dog owner who has accepted your responsibilities, or you are a person who has chosen NOT to be a dog owner.  And what is the third type? The third type is the person who has perhaps not given enough thought to becoming a responsible dog owner and may, in the near future, have a problem dog, in which case Council will assist them in becoming a responsible dog owner.

Read the Minimum Standards Required for Keeping Dogs fact sheet to ensure you know your full responsibilities.

Further information can be obtained by contacting Regulatory Services on (07) 4776 4600 or by emailing Council through our Make an Enquiry page. 

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