Companion Animals Act 1998 No 87
Current version for 18 November 2013 to date (accessed 23 December 2014 at 01:55)
Part 5

Part 5 Special provisions relating to control of dogs

Division 1A Nuisance dogs

32A   Nuisance dogs

(1)  For the purposes of this section, a dog is a nuisance if the dog:
(a)  is habitually at large, or
(b)  makes a noise, by barking or otherwise, that persistently occurs or continues to such a degree or extent that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of any person in any other premises, or
(c)  repeatedly defecates on property (other than a public place) outside the property on which it is ordinarily kept, or
(d)  repeatedly runs at or chases any person, animal (other than vermin and, in relation to an animal, otherwise than in the course of droving, tending, working or protecting stock) or vehicle, or
(e)  endangers the health of any person or animal (other than vermin and, in relation to an animal, otherwise than in the course of droving, tending, working or protecting stock), or
(f)  repeatedly causes substantial damage to anything outside the property on which it is ordinarily kept.
(2)  If an authorised officer of a council is satisfied that a dog is a nuisance, the officer may, after complying with section 32B, issue an order in the approved form to the owner of the dog requiring the owner to prevent the behaviour that is alleged to constitute the nuisance.
(3)  The order must specify the behaviour of the dog that is required to be prevented. The order can specify more than one kind of behaviour.
(4)  An order remains in force for 6 months after it is issued.
(5)  The owner of a dog must comply with an order issued to the owner under this section and must continue to comply with it while it is in force.

Maximum penalty: 8 penalty units for a first offence or 15 penalty units for a second or subsequent offence.

(6)  A council whose authorised officer issues an order under this section must notify the Director-General within 7 days after the order is issued.
(7)  An order under this section is final and is not subject to any appeal or review.

32B   Procedure for issuing nuisance dog order

(1)  Before an authorised officer of a council issues an order under section 32A, the officer must give notice to the owner of the dog to which the proposed order relates of the officer’s intention to issue the order.
(2)  The notice must set out:
(a)  the requirements with which the owner will be required to comply if the order is issued, and
(b)  the owner’s right to object to the proposed order in writing to the authorised officer within 7 days after the date the notice is given.
(3)  The owner has 7 days after the date the notice is given in which to object to the proposed order.
(4)  If the owner does not object within that time, the authorised officer may proceed to issue the order after the 7 days have passed.
(5)  If the owner does object within that time, the authorised officer must consider the objection before deciding whether or not to issue the order.

Division 1 Declarations relating to dangerous and menacing dogs

33   Meaning of “dangerous”

(1)  For the purposes of this Act, a dog is dangerous if it:
(a)  has, without provocation, attacked or killed a person or animal (other than vermin), or
(b)  has, without provocation, repeatedly threatened to attack or repeatedly chased a person or animal (other than vermin), or
(c)  (Repealed)
(d)  is kept or used for the purposes of hunting.
(2)  A dog is not, for the purposes of subsection (1) (d), to be regarded as being kept or used for the purposes of hunting if it is used only to locate, flush, point or retrieve birds or vermin. Vermin for the purposes of this subsection includes small pest animals only (such as rodents).
Note. If a hunting dog is declared to be a dangerous dog, the declaration does not necessarily mean that the dog cannot be used for the purposes of lawful hunting—see section 51 (3).

33A   Meaning of “menacing” and “menacing breed or kind of dog”

(1)  For the purposes of this Act, a dog is menacing if it:
(a)  has displayed unreasonable aggression towards a person or animal (other than vermin), or
(b)  has, without provocation, attacked a person or animal (other than vermin) but without causing serious injury or death.
(2)  The regulations may declare a breed or kind of dog to be a menacing breed or kind of dog.
(3)  The Minister is not to recommend the making of a regulation under subsection (2) unless the Minister is satisfied that the breed or kind of dog concerned displays characteristics associated with menacing behaviour. A failure to comply with this subsection does not invalidate the regulation concerned.

34   Authorised officer may declare dog to be dangerous dog or menacing dog

(1)  An authorised officer of a council may declare a dog to be a dangerous dog if the authorised officer is satisfied that:
(a)  the dog is dangerous, or
(b)  the dog has been declared a dangerous dog under a law of another State or a Territory that corresponds with this Act.
(1A)  An authorised officer of a council may declare a dog to be a menacing dog if the authorised officer is satisfied that:
(a)  the dog is menacing, or
(b)  the dog is of a menacing breed or kind of dog (or a cross-breed of a menacing breed or kind of dog), or
(c)  the dog has been declared a menacing dog under a law of another State or a Territory that corresponds with this Act.
(1B)  A declaration may be made under this section even if the dog is ordinarily kept in another council’s area.
(1C)  The regulations may prescribe procedures that must be followed or matters that must be considered (or both) before an authorised officer makes a declaration under subsection (1A) (b).
(2)  A declaration can be made on the officer’s own initiative or on the written application of a police officer or any other person.
(3)  A declaration has effect throughout the State. It is not limited in its operation to the area of the council whose authorised officer made the declaration.
Note. This Part also gives the Local Court the power to declare a dog to be dangerous in certain circumstances.

35   Owner to be notified of proposed declaration

(1)  An authorised officer of a council must give notice to the owner of a dog of the officer’s intention to declare the dog to be a dangerous dog or a menacing dog.
(2)  The notice must set out:
(a)  the requirements with which the owner will be required to comply if the declaration is made, and
(b)  the owner’s right to object to the proposed declaration in writing to the authorised officer within 7 days after the date the notice is given.

36   Obligations of owner when notified of proposed declaration

(1)  If a notice is given under section 35 to the owner of a dog of an authorised officer’s intention to declare the dog to be a dangerous dog or a menacing dog, the owner must:
(a)  ensure that at all times when the dog is away from the property where it is ordinarily kept:
(i)  it is under the effective control of some competent person by means of an adequate chain, cord or leash that is attached to the dog and is held by (or secured to) the person, and
(ii)  it has a muzzle securely fixed on its mouth in such a manner as will prevent it from biting any person or animal, and
(b)  register the dog (if it is not already registered), regardless of its age, within 7 days after receiving the notice.
Note. Registration of a dog requires the dog to be microchipped.

Maximum penalty: 50 penalty units.

(2)  Subsection (1) (a) only applies in respect of a dog:
(a)  for 28 days after the notice is given to the dog’s owner, or
(b)  until the authorised officer notifies the owner that the officer has made the proposed declaration or has decided not to make it,
whichever happens first.
(3)  An authorised officer may seize a dog that is the subject of a proposed declaration if:
(a)  the officer is satisfied that:
(i)  the requirements of subsection (1) (a) have not been complied with in relation to the dog, or
(ii)  the dog is not confined, tethered or restrained in such a way as to prevent the dog attacking or chasing a person lawfully at the property where the dog is ordinarily kept, or
(b)  the dog is not registered (regardless as to whether the 7 day period referred to in subsection (1) (b) has expired).
(3A)  An authorised officer may seize a dog under subsection (3) (a) only during the period when subsection (1) (a) applies in respect of the dog.
(4)  If a dog is seized under subsection (3), Part 7 applies in respect of the dog, except that a claim for the dog cannot be made under section 64 unless an authorised officer is satisfied that:
(a)  the requirements of subsection (1) (a) are capable of being complied with in relation to the dog, and
(a1)  the dog is reasonably capable of being confined, tethered or restrained in such a way as to prevent the dog attacking or chasing a person lawfully at the property where the dog is ordinarily kept, and
(b)  the dog has been registered.
(5)  For the purposes of subsection (1) (a) (i), a dog is not considered to be under the effective control of a person if the person has more than 2 dogs (one of which is the dog the subject of the proposed declaration) under his or her control at the one time.

37   Authorised officer must consider dog owner’s objections

(1)  The owner has 7 days after the date the notice is given in which to object to the proposed declaration.
(2)  If the owner does not object within that time, the authorised officer can proceed to make the declaration after the 7 days have passed.
(3)  If the owner does object within that time, the authorised officer must first consider the objection before proceeding to make the declaration.
(4)  A reference in this section to the authorised officer is a reference to any authorised officer of the council and is not limited to the authorised officer who gave the notice.

38   Authorised officer to notify dog owner of decision and consequences

(1)  An authorised officer of a council must give notice to the owner of a dog of the following:
(a)  a declaration under this Division,
(b)  a decision not to make a declaration under this Division.

The notice must be given within 7 days after the declaration or decision is made.

(2)  A notice that a dog has been declared a dangerous dog or a menacing dog must set out:
(a)  the requirements imposed on the owner by this Part and the date or dates by which the owner must comply with those requirements, and
(b)  in the case of a dangerous dog declaration—the owner’s right under section 41 to appeal to the Local Court against the declaration, and
(c)  the fact that the dog may, under section 58G, be seized and destroyed if the dog attacks or bites a person or animal without provocation or if the requirements imposed on the owner under section 51 (1) (c), (c1) or (e) are not complied with on 2 separate occasions over any period of 12 months (whether or not each occasion relates to the same requirement).
(3)  A declaration has effect from the date specified in the notice or the date on which notice is given, whichever is the later.

39   Council can revoke declaration

(1)  The owner of a dog that has been declared a dangerous dog or a menacing dog under this Division can apply to the council of the area in which the dog is ordinarily kept (whether or not it is the council whose authorised officer made the declaration) for the declaration to be revoked.
(1A)  An application under subsection (1) cannot be made until after the period of 12 months following the date on which the dog was declared to be a dangerous dog or a menacing dog.
(2)  The council to which the application is made may revoke the declaration but only if satisfied that:
(a)  it is appropriate to do so, and
(b)  if the council determines that it is necessary—the dog has undergone appropriate behavioural training.
(2A)  In making a determination under subsection (2) (a) in relation to a menacing dog declaration, the council is to have regard to the nature and extent of any behavioural training that the dog has undergone.
(3)  The council must, as soon as practicable, give notice to the owner of the dog that the declaration has been revoked or that the council has refused to revoke the declaration.

40   Director-General to be notified of making or revocation of declaration

(1)  An authorised officer of a council who makes a declaration under this Division must give notice of the declaration to the Director-General within 7 days.
(2)  A council that revokes a declaration under this Division must give notice of the revocation to the Director-General within 7 days.

41   Appeal to Local Court regarding dangerous dog declarations

(1)  The owner of a dog can appeal to the Local Court:
(a)  against the declaration by an authorised officer of a council that the dog is a dangerous dog, or
(b)  against a refusal by a council to revoke a declaration that the dog is a dangerous dog.
Note. No appeal lies to the Local Court against a declaration by an authorised officer of a council that a dog is a menacing dog or against a refusal by a council to revoke a declaration that the dog is a menacing dog.
(2)  An appeal can only be made within 28 days after the date the owner of the dog:
(a)  is given notice by the authorised officer under section 38 that the officer has made the declaration, or
(b)  is given notice by the council under section 39 that it has refused to revoke the declaration.
(3)  The fact that an appeal is pending does not affect the dog’s status as a dangerous dog and does not affect the appellant’s obligations under this Act as the owner of a dangerous dog, unless the Court otherwise orders.

42   Determination of appeals by Local Court

The Local Court may determine an appeal by confirming the decision of the authorised officer or the council (as the case requires) or by revoking the declaration.
Note. The Local Court has power under Division 3 to make other orders to control a dog on an appeal from a decision of a council concerning a declaration (for example, the Court can order that the owner of a dog take such action as the Court thinks necessary to prevent the dog attacking persons or other animals).

43   (Repealed)

Division 2 Power of Local Court to declare dogs dangerous or menacing

44   Local Court has power to declare dog to be dangerous or menacing dog

(1)  In any proceedings under this Act before the Local Court (other than an appeal against a declaration by an authorised officer of a council that a dog is a dangerous dog or against a refusal by a council to revoke such a declaration), the Court may declare a dog to be a dangerous dog or a menacing dog.
(2)  A declaration by the Local Court has effect throughout the State.
Note. Section 11 requires the owner of a dog to notify the Director-General when a dangerous dog or menacing dog declaration is made or revoked by the Local Court.

45   When Local Court can declare dog to be dangerous or menacing dog

(1)  The Local Court may declare a dog to be a dangerous dog if the Court is satisfied that:
(a)  the dog is dangerous, or
Note. Section 33 sets out the meaning of “dangerous” in relation to a dog for the purposes of this Act.
(b)  the dog has been declared a dangerous dog under a law of another State or a Territory that corresponds with this Act.
(1A)  The Local Court may declare a dog to be a menacing dog if the Court is satisfied that:
(a)  the dog is menacing because of any observed behaviour of the dog, or
(b)  the dog is of a menacing breed or kind of dog (or a cross-breed of a menacing breed or kind of dog), or
(c)  the dog has been declared a menacing dog under a law of another State or a Territory that corresponds with this Act.
(2)  Section 33 (2) applies for the purposes of subsection (1) (d).

46   Revocation of Local Court declaration

The Local Court can revoke a declaration made by a Court under this Division on the application of the owner of the dog concerned if the Court is satisfied that it is appropriate to do so in the circumstances.

Division 3 Powers of Courts to make destruction and control orders

47   Control orders

(1)  A control order is an order of a Court that the owner of a dog take such action (other than destroying the dog) within the period specified in the order as the Court thinks necessary to prevent, or reduce the likelihood of, the dog attacking or causing injury to persons or animals.
(2)  A control order can be made by a Court in the following circumstances:
(a)  in proceedings for an offence under section 16, 17, 49, 51 or 56 of this Act, or under section 35A of the Crimes Act 1900,
(b)  on an appeal under this Act against the declaration by an authorised officer of a council that a dog is dangerous or against a council’s refusal to revoke such a declaration,
(c)  on the Court declaring the dog to be a dangerous dog or a menacing dog under Division 2.
(3)  The action that a control order can require the owner of a dog to take includes (without limiting any of the requirements that apply in relation to the dog under section 51 or 56) the following action:
(a)  the desexing of the dog,
(b)  the behavioural or socialisation training of the dog,
(c)  training that is associated with responsible pet ownership.
(4)  A control order can be made in addition to any other order made by the Court in the proceedings concerned.

48   Destruction orders

(1)  A destruction order is an order of a Court that the owner of a dog destroy the dog or cause the dog to be destroyed, or that a dog be destroyed by some person authorised by the Court, within the period specified in the order.
(2)  A destruction order can be made by a Court in the following circumstances:
(a)  on conviction of the owner of the dog of an offence under section 35A of the Crimes Act 1900, or under section 16, 17, 49, 51 or 56 of this Act,
(b)  on confirming the declaration by an authorised officer of a council that a dog is dangerous or a council’s refusal to revoke such a declaration.
(3)  However, a Court must not make a destruction order unless it is satisfied that the making of a control order, or an order permanently removing the dog from its owner (which the Court is, by this subsection, authorised to make), will not be sufficient to protect the public from any threat posed by the dog.
(3A)  A Court must, except in exceptional circumstances, make a destruction order on conviction of the owner of the dog of an offence involving the serious injury or death of a person caused by the dog.
(4)  If the Court makes an order permanently removing a dog from its owner, the dog is to be dealt with under Part 7 as if it were a seized animal. However, the dog is not to be sold to the owner from whom it was removed by the order.
(5)  The making of an order by a Court under section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 in respect of a person charged with an offence is to be treated for the purposes of this section as a conviction of the person for the offence.
(6)  A destruction order can be made in addition to any other order made by the Court in the proceedings concerned.
(7)  A destruction order is sufficient authority for the destruction of a dog. The dog must be destroyed in a manner that causes it to die quickly and without unnecessary suffering.

49   Failure to comply with destruction or control order

The owner of a dog who does not comply with a destruction or control order under this Division is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty: 100 penalty units.

50   Ancillary orders to enable destruction order to be carried out

(1)  A Court may, if it makes a destruction order that a dog be destroyed by some person authorised by the Court, require the owner of the dog to take, within such period as is specified in the destruction order, such action as is, in the opinion of the Court, necessary to enable the destruction order to be carried out.
(2)  The Court may also make an order for the payment of any costs incurred in destroying the dog.
(3)  The owner of a dog who does not comply with an order under this section is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty: 100 penalty units.

Division 4 Responsibilities of owners of dangerous or menacing dogs

51   Owner of dangerous or menacing dog must comply with control requirements

(1)  The owner of a dog that is declared to be a dangerous dog under this Act must ensure that each of the following requirements is complied with while the declaration is in force:
(a)  The dog must be desexed (if it is not already desexed) within 28 days after it is declared a dangerous dog. If the owner appeals against the declaration, the operation of this paragraph is stayed until the appeal is either withdrawn or determined.
(b)  The dog must not at any time be in the sole charge of a person under the age of 18 years.
(c)  Enclosure requirements
While the dog is on property on which the dog is ordinarily kept, the dog must be kept in an enclosure that complies with the requirements prescribed by the regulations. The owner has 3 months from the date on which the dog is declared dangerous to comply. In the case of an existing dangerous dog, the owner has 6 months from the relevant date to comply.
Note. A certificate of compliance in relation to the prescribed enclosure must be obtained by the owner of the dog—see section 58H.
(c1)  Until such time as the requirement under paragraph (c) is complied with, the dog must, while on property on which it is ordinarily kept, be kept in an enclosure that is sufficient to restrain the dog and prevent a child from having access to the dog.
(d)  One or more signs must be displayed on that property showing the words “Warning Dangerous Dog” in letters clearly visible from the boundaries of the property on which the dog is ordinarily kept or, if the regulations provide for the signs required by this paragraph, complying with the regulations.
(d1)  Distinctive collar must be worn
The dog must at all times wear a collar of the kind prescribed by the regulations.
(e)  Dog must be kept on lead and be muzzled
Whenever the dog is outside its enclosure, the dog:
(i)  must be under the effective control of some competent person by means of an adequate chain, cord or leash that is attached to the dog and that is being held by (or secured to) the person, and
(ii)  must be muzzled in a manner that is sufficient to prevent it from biting any person or animal.

For the purposes of this paragraph, a dog is not considered to be under the effective control of a person if the person has more than 2 dogs (one of which is the dangerous dog) under his or her control at the one time.

(f)–(h)  (Repealed)
(i)  The owner must notify the council of the area in which the dog is ordinarily kept of the following matters within the time specified in relation to each of those matters:
(i)  that the dog (with or without provocation) has attacked or injured a person or an animal (other than vermin)—notice to be given within 24 hours after the attack or injury,
(ii)  that the dog cannot be found—notice to be given within 24 hours after the dog’s absence is first noticed,
(iii)  that the dog has died—notice to be given as soon as practicable after the death,
(iv)  (Repealed)
(v)  that the dog is no longer being ordinarily kept in the area of the council—notice to be given as soon as practicable after the change of location,
(vi)  that the dog is being ordinarily kept at a different location in the area of the council—notice to be given as soon as practicable after the change of location.
(j)  If the owner intends to keep the dog in the area of a council that is not the area in which the dog was ordinarily kept when the declaration was made, the owner must notify the council of the area in which the dog is intended to be ordinarily kept of his or her intention to do so.
(k)  The dog must, regardless of its age, be registered under this Act (if not already so registered) within 7 days after it is declared a dangerous dog.
Note. Section 11 also requires the owner of a dog to notify the Director-General within 7 days after a Court declares the dog a dangerous dog or revokes the declaration. If the order is made or revoked by a council, the council is required to notify the Director-General (see section 40).
(1A)  The owner of a dog that is declared to be a menacing dog under this Act must ensure that each of the following requirements is complied with while the declaration is in force:
(a)  The dog must be desexed (if it is not already desexed) within 28 days after it is declared to be a menacing dog.
(b)  Enclosure requirements
During any period that the menacing dog:
(i)  is on property on which the dog is ordinarily kept, and
(ii)  is not under the effective control of a person of or above the age of 18 years,
the dog must be enclosed in a manner that is sufficient to restrain the dog and prevent a child from having access to the dog.
(c)  Dog must be kept on lead and be muzzled
Whenever the menacing dog is outside property on which the dog is ordinarily kept, the dog:
(i)  must be under the effective control of some competent person by means of an adequate chain, cord or leash that is attached to the dog and that is being held by (or secured to) the person, and
(ii)  must be muzzled in a manner that is sufficient to prevent it from biting any person or animal.

For the purposes of this paragraph, a dog is not considered to be under the effective control of a person if the person has more than 2 dogs (one of which is the menacing dog) under his or her control at the one time.

(d)  The requirements set out in subsection (1) (b), (d), (d1), (i), (j) and (k). The reference in subsection (1) (k) to a dangerous dog is taken for the purposes of this paragraph to be a reference to a menacing dog.
Note. Section 11 also requires the owner of a dog to notify the Director-General within 7 days after a Court declares the dog a menacing dog or revokes the declaration. If the order is made or revoked by a council, the council is required to notify the Director-General (see section 40).
(2)  An owner of a dog who does not comply with any of the requirements of this section is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty: 150 penalty units.

(3) Exemption from being on lead and muzzled while hunting
In the case of a dog that has been declared dangerous on the ground that it is kept or used for the purposes of hunting, the requirements imposed under subsection (1) (e) do not apply while the dog is actually engaged in lawful hunting.
(4)  The requirements imposed under this section on the owner of a dangerous dog or menacing dog are additional to the other requirements of this Act imposed on the owner of a dog.
(5)  In subsection (1) (c):

existing dangerous dog means a dog that is the subject of a declaration by a council or court under this Part and in force immediately before the relevant date.

relevant date means the date on which this subsection (as inserted by the Companion Animals Amendment Act 2005) commences.

52   Dangerous or menacing dog may be seized if control requirements not complied with

(1)  An authorised officer may seize a dangerous or menacing dog if the officer is satisfied that any of the requirements of section 51 have not been complied with in relation to the dog.
(2)  If a dog is seized under subsection (1), Part 7 applies in relation to the dog.
(3)  However, a claim for the dog may be made under section 64 only if an authorised officer of the council of the area in which the dog is ordinarily kept is satisfied that each of the requirements of section 51 is capable of being complied with in relation to the dog.

52A   Prohibition on selling dangerous or menacing dog or proposed dangerous or menacing dog

(1)  A person who sells, or advertises the sale of, a dangerous or menacing dog or proposed dangerous or menacing dog is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty: 150 penalty units.

Note. The term “sell” extends to the transfer of owner by any means, including by gift.

Abandoning an animal is also an offence—see section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979.

(2)  A person does not commit an offence under this section by reason only of surrendering a dangerous or menacing dog or proposed dangerous or menacing dog to a council pound or an approved animal welfare organisation.
Note. A dangerous or menacing dog that is surrendered to a council pound or an approved animal welfare organisation cannot be sold.
(3)  In this section and in section 52B, proposed dangerous or menacing dog means a dog that is the subject of a proposed declaration under Division 1.

52B   Prohibition on accepting ownership of dangerous or menacing dog or proposed dangerous or menacing dog

(1)  A person who accepts ownership of a dangerous or menacing dog or proposed dangerous or menacing dog is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty: 150 penalty units.

(2)  A person does not commit an offence under this section:
(a)  by reason only of taking delivery of, or detaining, a dog under Part 7 or as the consequence of a dog being surrendered to a council pound or an approved animal welfare organisation, or
(b)  if the person does not know, or could not reasonably be expected to know, that the dog was a dangerous or menacing dog or proposed dangerous or menacing dog.

53   Inconsistency with agreements

In the event of an inconsistency between this Division and the provisions of any agreement, covenant or instrument, this Division is to prevail, but to the extent only of the inconsistency.
Note. For example, the requirement under this Division that the owner of a dangerous or menacing dog display a warning sign on premises would override a provision in a lease prohibiting the fixing of any sign to a building.

54   Civil liability of owner of dangerous or menacing dog

The mere fact that a dog has at any time been declared to be a dangerous or menacing dog under this Act does not affect the civil liability of the owner of the dog in any proceedings (other than proceedings under this Act).

Division 5 Special restrictions for other dogs

55   Interpretation

(1)  The following dogs are restricted dogs for the purposes of this Act:
(a)  American pit bull terrier or pit bull terrier,
(b)  Japanese tosa,
(c)  dogo Argentino,
(d)  fila Brasileiro,
(d1)  any other dog of a breed, kind or description whose importation into Australia is prohibited by or under the Customs Act 1901 of the Commonwealth,
(e)  any dog declared by an authorised officer of a council under Division 6 of this Part to be a restricted dog,
(f)  any other dog of a breed, kind or description prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this section.
(2)  In this Division:

existing restricted dog means a dog that is a restricted dog as at the relevant date.

proposed restricted dog means a dog that is the subject of a proposed declaration by an authorised officer of a council under section 58C.

relevant date means the date on which Division 6 of this Part (as inserted by the Companion Animals Amendment Act 2005) commences.

transition period means the period beginning on the relevant date and ending 12 months after that date.

56   Owner of restricted dog must comply with control requirements

(1)  The owner of a restricted dog must ensure that each of the following requirements is complied with:
(a)  Desexing
In the case of an existing restricted dog, the dog must be desexed within 28 days after the relevant date.

In the case of a dog declared by an authorised officer of a council under Division 6 of this Part to be a restricted dog, the dog must be desexed within 28 days after it is declared to be a restricted dog.

In the case of any other restricted dog born after the relevant date, the dog must be desexed within 3 months of being born.

(a1)  Enclosure requirements
While the dog is on property on which the dog is ordinarily kept, the dog must be kept in an enclosure that complies with the requirements prescribed by the regulations.

In the case of an existing restricted dog, or a restricted dog born within 3 months after the relevant date, the owner has 6 months from the relevant date to comply with this paragraph.

Otherwise, the owner has 3 months from the date on which the restricted dog is born or 3 months from the date on which the dog is declared to be a restricted dog under Division 6 of this Part (as the case requires) to comply with this paragraph.

Note. A certificate of compliance in relation to the prescribed enclosure must be obtained by the owner of the dog—see section 58H.
(a2)  Until such time as the requirement under paragraph (a1) is complied with in relation to the dog, the dog must, while on property on which it is ordinarily kept, be kept in an enclosure that is sufficient to restrain the dog and prevent a child from having access to the dog.
(b)  The dog must not at any time be in the sole charge of a person under the age of 18 years.
(c)  One or more signs must be displayed on that property showing the words “Warning Dangerous Dog” in letters clearly visible from the boundaries of the property on which the dog is ordinarily kept or, if the regulations provide for the signs required by this paragraph, complying with the regulations.
(c1)  Distinctive collar must be worn
The dog must at all times wear a collar of the kind prescribed by the regulations.
(d)  Dog must be kept on lead and be muzzled
Whenever the dog is outside its enclosure, the dog:
(i)  must be under the effective control of some competent person by means of an adequate chain, cord or leash that is attached to the dog and that is being held by (or secured to) the person, and
(ii)  must be muzzled in a manner that is sufficient to prevent it from biting any person or animal.

For the purposes of this paragraph, a dog is not considered to be under the effective control of a person if the person has more than 2 dogs (one of which is the restricted dog) under his or her control at the one time.

(e), (f)  (Repealed)
(g)  The owner must notify the council of the area in which the dog is ordinarily kept of the following matters within the time specified in relation to each of those matters:
(i)  that the dog (with or without provocation) has attacked or injured a person or animal (other than vermin)—notice to be given within 24 hours after the attack or injury,
(ii)  that the dog cannot be found—notice to be given within 24 hours after the dog’s absence is first noticed,
(iii)  that the dog has died—notice to be given as soon as practicable after the death,
(iv)  (Repealed)
(v)  that the dog is no longer being ordinarily kept in the area of the council—notice to be given as soon as practicable after the change of location,
(vi)  that the dog is being ordinarily kept at a different location in the area of the council—notice to be given as soon as practicable after the change of location.
(h)  Registration of dog
In the case of a dog declared by an authorised officer of a council under Division 6 of this Part to be a restricted dog, the dog must, regardless of its age, be registered (if not already registered) within 7 days after it is declared to be a restricted dog.
(2)  An owner of a dog who does not comply with any of the requirements of this section is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty: 150 penalty units.

(3)  The requirements imposed under this section on the owner of a restricted dog are additional to the other requirements of this Act imposed on the owner of a dog.
(4)  In the event of an inconsistency between this section and the provisions of any agreement, covenant or instrument, this section is to prevail, but to the extent only of the inconsistency.

57   Restricted dog may be seized if control requirements not complied with

(1) Seizure during transition period
An authorised officer may, during the transition period, seize a restricted dog if the officer is satisfied that any of the requirements of section 56 have not been complied with in relation to the dog.
(2)  If a dog is seized under subsection (1), Part 7 applies in relation to the dog.
(3)  However, a claim for the dog may be made under section 64 only if an authorised officer of the council of the area in which the dog is ordinarily kept is satisfied that each of the requirements of section 56 is capable of being complied with in relation to the dog.
(4) Seizure after transition period
If, after the transition period, an authorised officer of a council is satisfied that any of the requirements of section 56 have not been complied with in relation to a restricted dog, the authorised officer may seize the dog.
(5)  If a dog is seized under subsection (4):
(a)  the dog is to be delivered as soon as possible to a council pound, and
(b)  the council or the pound operator, as the case requires, may destroy the dog.
(6)  Part 7 (other than sections 68 and 69) does not apply in relation to a dog that is seized under subsection (4).

57A   Prohibition on selling restricted dog or proposed restricted dog

(1)  A person who sells, or advertises the sale of, a restricted dog or proposed restricted dog is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty: 150 penalty units.

Note. The term “sell” extends to the transfer of owner by any means, including by gift.

Abandoning an animal is also an offence—see section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979.

(2)  A person does not commit an offence under this section by reason only of surrendering a dog to a council pound or an approved animal welfare organisation.
Note. A restricted dog that is surrendered to a council pound or an approved animal welfare organisation cannot be sold.

57B   Prohibition on accepting ownership of restricted dog or proposed restricted dog

(1)  A person who accepts ownership of a restricted dog or proposed restricted dog is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty: 150 penalty units.

(2)  A person does not commit an offence under this section by reason only of taking delivery of, or detaining, a dog under Part 7 or as the consequence of a dog being surrendered to a council pound or an approved animal welfare organisation.

57C   Prohibition on breeding restricted dog or proposed restricted dog

A person:
(a)  who causes or permits a restricted dog or proposed restricted dog to breed with any other dog, or
(b)  who advertises that a restricted dog or proposed restricted dog is available for breeding,
is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty: 150 penalty units.

57D   Declared restricted dogs may be seized and destroyed after transition period

(1)  This section applies to any dog that becomes, any time after the transition period, a restricted dog because of a declaration by an authorised officer of a council under Division 6 of this Part.
(2)  However, this section does not apply to any such dog if:
(a)  the dog was, before the relevant date, registered under this Act (or a corresponding Act of another State or Territory) otherwise than as a breed or kind of dog referred to in section 55 (1) (a)–(d1) or as a cross-breed of any such breed or kind of dog, and
(b)  no person has been convicted, whether before or after the relevant date, of an offence under section 16 (1), (1AA) or (1AB) (or a similar offence under a corresponding Act of another State or Territory) as a result of the dog rushing at, attacking, biting, harassing or chasing any person or animal.
(3)  An authorised officer may seize a dog to which this section applies. The officer may do so regardless of whether the requirements of section 56 have been, or are capable of being, complied with in relation to the dog.
(4)  If a dog is seized under subsection (3):
(a)  the dog is to be delivered as soon as possible to a council pound, and
(b)  an authorised officer of a council may authorise the destruction of the dog.
(5)  Part 7 (other than sections 68 and 69) does not apply in relation to a dog that is seized under subsection (3).

58   Civil liability of owner of restricted dog

The mere fact that a dog is a restricted dog does not affect the civil liability of the owner of the dog in any proceedings (other than proceedings under this Act).

Division 6 Declaration of dogs as restricted dogs

58A   Notice of intention to declare dog to be restricted dog

(1)  If an authorised officer of a council is of the opinion that a dog:
(a)  is of a breed or kind of dog referred to in section 55 (1) (a)–(d1), or
(b)  is a cross-breed of any such breed or kind of dog,
the authorised officer may give notice to the owner of the dog of the officer’s intention to declare the dog to be a restricted dog.
(2)  The notice is to be in the approved form and must set out:
(a)  the requirements that the owner of the dog will be required to comply with if the declaration is made, and
(b)  the procedures associated with obtaining a breed or temperament assessment (as referred to in section 58C) in relation to the dog.
(3)  (Repealed)

58B   Obligations of owner when notified of proposed restricted dog declaration

(1)  If a notice is given under section 58A to the owner of a dog of an authorised officer’s intention to declare the dog to be a restricted dog, the owner must:
(a)  ensure that at all times when the dog is away from the property where it is ordinarily kept:
(i)  it is under the effective control of some competent person by means of an adequate chain, cord or leash that is attached to the dog and is held by (or secured to) the person, and
(ii)  it has a muzzle securely fixed on its mouth in such a manner as will prevent it from biting any person or animal, and
(b)  register the dog (if it is not already registered), regardless of its age, within 7 days after receiving the notice.
Note. Registration of a dog requires the dog to be microchipped.

Maximum penalty: 50 penalty units.

(2)  For the purposes of subsection (1) (a) (i), a dog is not considered to be under the effective control of a person if the person has more than 2 dogs (one of which is the dog the subject of the proposed declaration) under his or her control at the one time.
(3)  Subsection (1) (a) only applies in respect of a dog:
(a)  for 28 days after the notice is given to the dog’s owner, or
(b)  until the authorised officer notifies the owner that the authorised officer has made the proposed declaration or has decided not to make it,
whichever happens first.
(4)  An authorised officer may seize a dog that is the subject of a proposed declaration if:
(a)  the officer is satisfied that:
(i)  the requirements of subsection (1) (a) have not been complied with in relation to the dog, or
(ii)  the dog is not confined, tethered or restrained in such a way as to prevent the dog attacking or chasing a person lawfully at the property where the dog is ordinarily kept, or
(b)  the dog is not registered (regardless as to whether the 7 day period referred to in subsection (1) (b) has expired).
(4A)  An authorised officer may seize a dog under subsection (4) (a) only during the period when subsection (1) (a) applies in respect of the dog.
(5)  If a dog is seized under subsection (4), Part 7 applies in respect of the dog with the following modifications:
(a)  a claim for the dog cannot be made under section 64 unless an authorised officer is satisfied that:
(i)  the requirements of subsection (1) (a) are capable of being complied with in relation to the dog, and
(ii)  the dog is reasonably capable of being confined, tethered or restrained in such a way as to prevent the dog attacking or chasing a person lawfully at the property where the dog is ordinarily kept, and
(iii)  the dog has been registered,
(b)  if the dog is declared to be a restricted dog, the dog may not be destroyed under section 64 until 7 days after notice is given to the owner of the dog under section 58D.

58C   Authorised officer may declare dog to be restricted dog

(1) Declaration by council
If a notice of intention to declare a dog to be a restricted dog is given under section 58A to the owner of the dog, the authorised officer who gave the notice (or any other authorised officer of the council) may, after the period of 28 days following the giving of the notice, declare the dog to be a restricted dog. It does not matter if the dog is ordinarily kept in another council’s area.
(2) Certification in relation to dog’s breed or temperament may be provided
An authorised officer of a council is not to declare the dog to be a restricted dog if, within the period of 28 days following the giving of the notice under section 58A, the owner of the dog:
(a)  provides the authorised officer with a written statement by an approved breed assessor to the effect that the dog:
(i)  is not of a breed or kind of dog referred to in section 55 (1) (a)–(d1), and
(ii)  is not a cross-breed of any such breed or kind of dog, or
(b)  provides the authorised officer with:
(i)  a written statement by an approved breed assessor to the effect that the dog is not of a breed or kind of dog referred to in section 55 (1) (a)–(d1) but is a cross-breed of any such breed or kind of dog, and
(ii)  a written statement by an approved temperament assessor to the effect that the dog is not a danger to the public and is not likely, without provocation, to attack or bite any person or animal.
(3)  Without limiting the form in which a written statement by an approved breed assessor may be in for the purposes of subsection (2), any such written statement may be in the form of, or comprise, a certificate that is of a kind or description prescribed by the regulations.
(4)  The owner of a dog that is the subject of a proposed declaration under this section:
(a)  cannot, despite any other provision of this Act, rely on or produce, any evidence with respect to the dog’s breed or temperament (including any information entered on the Register as to the dog’s breed) apart from a written statement as referred to in this section, and
(b)  is liable to pay for any costs associated with obtaining a written statement from an approved breed assessor or approved temperament assessor for the purposes of this section.
(5)  An authorised officer of a council may, in any particular case, extend the 28-day period referred to in subsection (2) for a further period because of extenuating circumstances.
(6)  Any written statement provided by an approved breed assessor or approved temperament assessor for the purposes of this section may not be challenged, reviewed, quashed or called into question on any grounds before any court or tribunal in any legal proceedings.

58D   Authorised officer to notify dog owner of decision and consequences

(1)  An authorised officer of a council must give notice to the owner of a dog when the authorised officer declares the dog to be a restricted dog or decides not to declare the dog to be a restricted dog. The notice must be given within 7 days after the declaration or decision is made.
(2)  A notice that a dog has been declared a restricted dog must set out the requirements and restrictions imposed on the owner under this Part and the date or dates by which the owner must comply with those requirements.
(3)  A declaration by an authorised officer of a council under this Division:
(a)  has effect from the date specified in the notice or the date on which notice is given (whichever is the later), and
(b)  has effect throughout the State and is not limited in its operation to the area of the council whose authorised officer made the declaration, and
(c)  may be revoked at any time by the council whose authorised officer made the declaration.
(4)  A declaration or other decision by an authorised officer of a council under this Division is final and is not subject to any appeal or review.
(5)  (Repealed)

58DA   Director-General to be notified of making or revocation of declaration

(1)  An authorised officer of a council who makes a declaration under this Division must give notice of the declaration to the Director-General within 7 days.
(2)  A council that revokes a declaration under this Division must give notice of the revocation to the Director-General within 7 days.

58E   Protection from liability of assessors

An approved breed assessor or approved temperament assessor does not incur any civil or criminal liability in respect of anything done or omitted to be done in good faith by the assessor in connection with carrying out an assessment of a dog’s breed or temperament for the purposes of this Division.

58F   Persons authorised to provide certain information to councils

(1)  Any person (other than a council) who is authorised by or under this Act to identify or register companion animals may, despite any other Act or law, provide any information (including the person’s opinion as to the breed or temperament of a dog) to a council that may result in any action being taken under this Division in relation to a dog.
(2)  A person does not incur any criminal or civil liability (including liability for breaching any duty of confidentiality) for providing any such information to a council if the information is provided in good faith.

Division 7 Other provisions relating to dangerous, menacing and restricted dogs

58G   Power to seize and destroy dangerous, menacing or restricted dog in certain circumstances

(1) Seizing dangerous, menacing or restricted dog that attacks
An authorised officer may seize a dangerous, menacing or restricted dog if the dog attacks or bites a person or animal (other than vermin) without provocation.
(1A) Seizing dangerous dog if certain control requirements not complied with
An authorised officer may seize a dangerous dog if the requirements referred to in section 51 (1) (c), (c1) or (e) are not complied with in relation to the dog.
(1B) Seizing menacing dog if certain control requirements not complied with
An authorised officer may seize a menacing dog if the requirements referred to in section 51 (1A) (b) or (c) are not complied with in relation to the dog on at least 2 separate occasions over any period of 12 months (whether or not each occasion relates to the same requirement).
Note. See section 57 (4) for the power to seize a restricted dog for non-compliance with any of the control requirements under section 56.
(2)  If a dog is seized under this section:
(a)  the dog is to be delivered as soon as possible to a council pound, and
(b)  an authorised officer of a council may authorise the destruction of the dog.
(3)  However, if the dog has been seized under subsection (1A), the authorised officer may authorise the destruction of the dog only if the officer is satisfied that it is reasonable to do so after appropriate enquiries have been made into the circumstances that resulted in the dog being seized.
(4)  Part 7 (other than sections 68 and 69) does not apply in relation to a dog that is seized under this section.
(5)  This section does not limit the power of an authorised officer to seize a dangerous, menacing or restricted dog under any other provision of this Act.

58H   Certificate of compliance required for dangerous and restricted dog enclosures

(1)  A person must not own a dangerous dog, menacing dog or restricted dog unless a certificate of compliance under this section is in force in relation to the enclosure in which the dog is required to be kept under section 51 (1) (c) or 56 (1) (a1) (as the case requires).

Maximum penalty: 100 penalty units.

(2)  An authorised officer of a council may issue a certificate of compliance in relation to the enclosure in which a dangerous, menacing or restricted dog is required to be kept if:
(a)  the officer is satisfied that the enclosure complies with the relevant requirements imposed under section 51 (1) (c) or 56 (1) (a1), and
(b)  the fee prescribed by the regulations (or such fee as does not exceed the prescribed fee) in connection with issuing the certificate is paid to the council.
(3)  A certificate of compliance in relation to a dog enclosure may be revoked at any time by an authorised officer of a council if the officer is satisfied that the enclosure does not comply with the relevant requirements.
(4)  A person does not commit an offence under this section:
(a)  in the case of a dog that is a dangerous dog, menacing dog or restricted dog as at the date on which this section commences—until after the period of 28 days following that commencement, or
(b)  in any other case—until after section 51 (1) (c) or 56 (1) (a1) is required to be complied with.

58I   Miscellaneous provisions relating to declarations

(1)  A declaration that a dog is a dangerous dog is taken to revoke any declaration that the dog is a menacing dog.
(2)  A declaration that a dog is a menacing dog is taken to revoke any declaration that the dog is a dangerous dog.
(3)  A declaration that a dog is a dangerous or menacing dog does not prevent the issuing of an order under section 32A (Nuisance dogs) in relation to the dog.
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