Domestic Animal Management Plan 2012-2016



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Domestic Animal Management Plan

2012-2016




Adopted by council on the 26thJune 2013


DOMESTIC ANIMAL MANAGEMENT PLANS

Under Section 68A of the Domestic Animals Act, every Council must prepare a domestic animal management plan, as follows:

68A Councils to prepare domestic animal management plans

(1) Every Council must, in consultation with the Secretary (of the Department of Primary Industries), prepare at 4 year intervals a domestic animal management plan.

(2) A domestic animal management plan prepared by a Council must—

(a) set out a method for evaluating whether the animal control services provided by the Council in its municipal district are adequate to give effect to the requirements of this Act and the regulations; and

(b) outline programs for the training of authorised officers to ensure that they can properly administer and enforce the requirements of this Act in the Council's municipal district; and

(c) outline programs, services and strategies which the Council intends to pursue in its municipal district—

(i) to promote and encourage the responsible ownership of dogs and cats; and

(ii) to ensure that people comply with this Act, the regulations and any related legislation; and

(iii) to minimise the risk of attacks by dogs on people and animals; and

(iv) to address any over-population and high euthanasia rates for dogs and cats; and

(v) to encourage the registration and identification of dogs and cats; and

(vi) to minimise the potential for dogs and cats to create a nuisance; and

(vii) to effectively identify all dangerous dogs, menacing dogs and restricted breed dogs in that district and to ensure that those dogs are kept in compliance with this Act and the regulations; and

(d) provide for the review of existing orders made under this Act and local laws that relate to the Council's municipal district with a view to determining whether further orders or local laws dealing with the management of dogs and cats in the municipal district are desirable; and

(e) provide for the review of any other matters related to the management of dogs and cats in the Council's municipal district that it thinks necessary; and

(f) provide for the periodic evaluation of any program, service, strategy or review outlined under the plan.

(3) Every Council must—

(a) review its domestic animal management plan annually and, if appropriate, amend the plan; and

(b) provide the Secretary with a copy of the plan and any amendments to the plan; and

(c) publish an evaluation of its implementation of the plan in its annual report.




Contents


Adopted by council on the 26thJune 2013 3

DOMESTIC ANIMAL MANAGEMENT PLANS 3

68A Councils to prepare domestic animal management plans 3

INTRODUCTION 4

COUNCIL PROFILE 5

PET OWNERSHIP IN THE MACEDON RANGES SHIRE 6

2012 ANIMAL STATISTICS – MACEDON RANGES SHIRE 6

MACEDON RANGES SHIRE COUNCIL – ANIMAL MANAGEMENT STAFFING AND OPERATIONAL STRUCTURE 8

WHAT IS ANIMAL MANAGEMENT? 9

COUNCIL’S ANIMAL MANAGEMENT RELATED LOCAL LAWS (Appendix 1) 9

TRAINING OF AUTHORISED OFFICERS 10

REGISTRATION AND IDENTIFICATION 10

DEALING WITH NUISANCE ISSUES 14

Dog Poo 14

Roaming cats 14

Barking Dogs 14

Roaming Dogs 15

CURRENT SITUATION 15

Current Education/Promotion Activities relating to nuisance animals: 15

Current Compliance Activities relating to nuisance animals: 15

MINIMISING THE RISK OF DOG ATTACKS AND RUSHES 18

Current Education/Promotion Activities 19

Current Compliance Activities 19

MANAGING DANGEROUS, MENACING AND RESTRICTED BREED DOGS 20

Current Education/Promotion Activities 21

Current Compliance Activities 21

MINIMISING OVERPOPULATION AND EUTHANASIA 22

Current Education/Promotion Activities 22

Our current Compliance Activities 22

DOMESTIC ANIMAL BUSINESSES 24

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OF ANIMALS 25

MONITORING AND REVIEWING THE PLAN 26

APPENDIX 1 –MACEDON SHIRE RANGES COUNCIL GENERAL LOCAL LAWS NUMBER 8, PART 4 - ANIMAL CONTROL 27




INTRODUCTION

All Victorian Councils are required by the Domestic Animals Act 1994 to prepare and implement a four year Domestic Animal Management Plan (The Plan) to guide decision making in relation to animal management.


This four year plan builds on the previous plan and provides the framework for the planning, development, and evaluation of animal management services and programs delivered by Macedon Ranges Shire Council and complies with the requirements of the Domestic Animals Act 1994.
The purposes of the Plan are to:

  • Document current processes and practices relating to animal management responsibilities.

  • Review its animal management services, programs, procedures and policies including local laws and orders.

  • Outline programs, services and strategies to:

    • Increase compliance with the Domestic Animals Act 1994.

    • Increase pet owners’ knowledge of the principles of responsible pet ownership and enhancing community safety and awareness.

    • Minimise the harmful effect of domestic pets on the population of native birds, mammals and reptiles

    • Minimise over-population and minimise euthanasia rates for dogs and cats.

    • Minimise the potential for dogs and cats to create a nuisance; and

    • Encourage the registration and identification of dogs and cats.

  • Take into account community views on animal management matters


COUNCIL PROFILE


The Macedon Ranges Shire Council has an area of 1747.4 square kilometres with an estimated resident population of 41,860 people.

The Shire is located within an hour’s drive of Melbourne along the Calder Freeway and is renowned for its semi-rural lifestyle including its pristine landscapes and forests, native wildlife, unique natural features such as Hanging Rock and the charm and character of its local townships such as Woodend, Kyneton and Malmsbury. As a semi-rural peri urban on the fringe of suburban Melbourne, Macedon Ranges Shire has a diverse range of domestic animals. Our climate and location attracts horse and alpaca breeding, through to the more usual cats and dogs and includes farming and livestock industries.

These features have attracted residents and visitors since the early 1900s and continue to do so today. The Macedon Ranges Shire is constantly growing and the most significant recent growth has occurred in the southern part of the Shire, close to urban Melbourne.

PET OWNERSHIP IN THE MACEDON RANGES SHIRE


With Australia having one of the highest levels of cat and dog ownership in the world, responsible pet ownership is an important part of our Macedon Ranges culture.

Council recognises that pets play an important role in the day to day lives of many people, and strives to support pet owners and promote the health and social benefits of responsible pet ownership. This is done in conjunction with making sure that our environment and lifestyle is protected from any potential negative impacts of domestic animals.

Studies show that pets increase people's sense of safety, promote social interaction, encourage people to exercise, and provide companionship. In short, pets improve the physical and psychological health of their owners. Pets are also a great catalyst for meeting people and help support social interaction, particularly for people living on their own.

Harnessing these benefits of animal ownership and supporting our residents to continue to responsibly own cats, dogs and other pets is an ongoing role for Council.

The aim of the Macedon Ranges Domestic Animal Management Plan is to ensure that people and pets can live harmoniously in our community. The plan recognises and carefully balances the needs of pets, pet owners and those who don’t own pets

Interesting Facts


  • More than 63% of Australian households own a pet, of these:

- 40% own dogs

- 26% own cats



  • In about two-thirds of cases a woman is the main carer and decision-maker in relation to the family pet(s).

  • 91% of pet owners report feeling ‘very close’ to their pet, reinforcing that pets are an integral member of the family unit,

  • More than 83% of Australians have had a pet at some time in their lives.

  • People who own pets typically visit the doctor less often, have lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure, and use less medication

(data from the Australian Companion Animals Council - http://www.acac.org.au/)


2012 ANIMAL STATISTICS – MACEDON RANGES SHIRE





2012

Population



41860

Area


1747 km2

No. of EFT Authorised Officers (Rangers/Local Law Officers)



3.6


No. of Registered Dogs


11,034

No. of Registered Cats

3,210


No. of Registered Declared Dogs


9

No. of impoundments (dogs), including dogs surrendered by public

429


No. of dogs returned to owner



355 (83%)


No. of dogs rehoused


58 (13.5%)


No. of dogs euthanased



15 (3.5%)


No. of impoundments (cats) including cats surrendered by public




132

No. of cats returned to owner

6 (4.5%)

No. of cats rehoused

46 (35%)

No. of cats euthanased

80 (60.5%)


No. of registered Domestic Animal Businesses




  • Breeding & rearing




  • Pet shops




  • Training Establishment




  • Shelters & pounds




  • Boarding establishments

3
1
1
1
6



MACEDON RANGES SHIRE COUNCIL – ANIMAL MANAGEMENT STAFFING AND OPERATIONAL STRUCTURE


CEO




Director,

Assets & Operations




Manager,

Community Safety




Fire Management Officer

Coordinator Environmental Health

Coordinator

Emergency Management

Coordinator Local Laws




Casual Ranger/Local Law Officers x 2

Administration Officer x 1 (EFT)

Ranger/Local Laws Officers

x 3.6 (EFT)





WHAT IS ANIMAL MANAGEMENT?

The Local Laws Unit is responsible for the animal management function, which Council provides. Such functions include:



  • Managing neighbourhood issues and complaints relating to pets;

  • Promoting responsible pet ownership;

  • Investigating dog attacks;

  • Ensuring compliance to legislation and code of practice’s relevant to pets and livestock;

  • Registration and identification of animals;

  • Investigating animal welfare issues;

  • Providing advice to pet owners and the community;

  • After hours animal emergencies and;

  • Animal welfare emergency management.

COUNCIL’S ANIMAL MANAGEMENT RELATED LOCAL LAWS (Appendix 1)


Council has in place a variety of local laws or orders that regulate pet owners, which are as follows:

Council’s General Local Law Number 8, has local laws which manage animals and their owners by stipulating how many dogs and cats can reside at any one property, how any additional animals must be housed and the requirement for dog walkers to pick up their dog’s litter when in public places. It also regulates nuisances from animals other than dogs and cats, as the Domestic Animals Act 1994 regulates dog and cat nuisances.

Pet owners are required to obtain a yearly permit from Council to keep additional animals on their property, which requires Authorised Officers to assess their property accordingly and canvass neighbours for their consent also. This ensures additional animals do not affect the amenity of the neighbourhood.

Council’s General Local Law Number 8 is due to expire on 30 September 2013, the community will be able to have a say in relation to any changes once a proposal is made available for comment.



TRAINING OF AUTHORISED OFFICERS

A variety of training is offered and provided to all Rangers/Local Laws Officers and to ensure Officers are equipped to respond to demands of their roles, training is reviewed annually.

Training options include animal handling courses, investigation and statement taking courses, animal welfare and husbandry courses, prosecution courses and meetings, information technology training, OH&S training, conflict management training, customer service training and industry related seminars, conferences and briefings from the Department of Primary Industries (DPI), Bureau of Animal Welfare (BAW), Australian Institute of Animal Management (AIAM), Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) and other relevant Associations.

OUR PLANS

Objective: Develop and maintain a training register for individual officers

Activity

When

Evaluation

Create a database to record each officer’s completed training, along with proposed additional training opportunities

By

January 2014



Annually review, to ensure accuracy and to determine whether proposed training goals have been met for each officer

Staff attendance at industry related seminars and training, such as:

  • Breed Identification

  • Annual AIAM Conference

  • DPI/BAW/MAV Seminars

As offered


Annual review attendance with training register



REGISTRATION AND IDENTIFICATION


The Domestic Animals Act 1994 requires all dogs and cats over the age of 3 months to be microchipped and registered with their residing Council.

The registration of animals provides Council’s with an understanding of the level of pet ownership in the community and in turn this helps Council plan for services, information and programs associated with pets in particular areas of the community.

Registration fees help fund the services provided by Council in relation to animal management and the Bureau of Animal Welfare’s responsible pet ownership campaigns and programs provided within the Shire.

More importantly, it supports the quick return of pets to their owners, minimising distress to pets associated with being held in a strange environment while waiting for collection.

Council is committed to promoting responsible pet ownership by educating and enforcing relevant legislation to ensure the highest possible level of compliance.

Current Education Activities


  • Publicising the requirement to register pets over the age of three months in Shire Life, Local papers, Council’s website and Council’s on hold phone messages;

  • Mailing out of animal registration renewal and reminder notices each year to currently registered animals;

  • Roadside signage (A Frames);

  • Vehicle signage;

  • Microchipping days and;

  • Brochures made available to the public promoting responsible pet ownership.

Current Compliance Activities

  • A door knock audit conducted each year for animal registrations that have lapsed.

  • Requiring unregistered impounded animals to be microchipped and registered prior to release.

  • Issuing notices and/or infringements for animals found unregistered.

  • Prosecuting owners of unregistered animals where infringements remain unpaid and/or animals remain unregistered.

  • Investigating domestic animal business notifications of animals being sold to residents within the Shire.

  • Proactive and reactive park and street patrols to follow up registration and ensure identification is being worn.

  • After hours animal emergency service.

OUR PLANS

Objective 1: Minimise the total number of properties required for the annual door knock audit, relating to lapsed animal registrations.

Activity

When

Evaluation

Educate residents of the animal registration renewal period by means of advertising/media releases and mailing of renewal notices

March-May Yearly

Review media release types available each year to determine most effective advertising

Ensure each property is audited and issued infringements where animals found to be unregistered

July – August Yearly

Total number of properties audited compared to previous results.

Ensure lapsed animal registrations have been renewed after follow up and infringements paid. Lodge unpaid infringements with debt collection agency or Magistrates Court

Sept – Oct

Yearly


Total number unregistered animals recorded and compare with previous results

Seize animals still found to be unregistered where matter found proven in Court

Month after date

Provide media releases to send the strong message for responsible pet ownership and compliance

Investigate the feasibility of additional fees being added to registration reminder notices

2014/15 Financial year

Review the total number of reminder notices being sent out annually and costs associated.



Objective 2: Increase and maintain dog and cat registrations


Activity

When

Evaluation

Ensure all seized and impounded animals are registered to their owner prior release.

Prior to every release.

Review annual registration numbers. Review number of dogs and cats being seized and impounded which are not registered.

Random door knock audit for unregistered animals throughout the municipality

2014/15

Review annual increase in registration numbers. Review number of dogs and cats being seized and impounded which are not registered.

Records of number of unregistered and un-identified animals picked up during door knocks.



Investigate the feasibility of offering discounted fees for initial registration of animals adopted from registered animal shelters

2014/15

Review the total number of animals rehomed and registration follow ups required from notifications received.

Investigate the feasibility of offering discounted fees for initial registration of animals that get micro-chipped at Council’s micro-chipping day

Investigate the feasibility of offering an amnesty for unregistered animals within the Shire and providing discounted fees for initial registration, prior a complete registration audit of animals



2013/14

2014/15


Review the total number of animals micro-chipped and registered and compare with previous results.

Record the total number of animals registered during amnesty and properties found with unregistered animals once audit completed



Cross-reference Council database of registered animals with microchip registries to identify unregistered animals

2015/16

Follow up on identified unregistered animals accordingly. Evaluate the number of new animal registrations received V number of properties audited


DEALING WITH NUISANCE ISSUES


The Domestic Animals Act 1994, regulates both dog and cat nuisances relating to noise, trespassing and wandering animals. The Macedon Ranges Shire’s Local Law also has provisions that control animal nuisances such as limiting the number of cats and dogs that can reside on any one property, how any additional animals must be housed and the requirement for dog walkers to pick up their dog’s litter when in public places.

Dog Poo


Owners failing to pick up dog litter or leaving dog litterbags behind can be more offensive to the community than littering. Unfortunately due to the nature of the offence, regulating pet owners with compliance measures is difficult. Council heavily relies on educating responsible pet ownership and the community reporting any witnessed instances.

Roaming cats


Cats can cause serious problems if allowed to roam outdoors, especially at night. Roaming cats can get hit by cars, injured in fights, breed, catch and/or spread diseases, kill and injury native wildlife or become lost.

Council’s Local Laws department offers a cat trapping program for cats trespassing on residents properties, which create nuisances such as; noise, fighting, spraying, digging, defecating and killing wildlife. Cat traps require a $50 deposit with a $10 weekly fee; the deposit is refundable if the trap is returned by the due date and in working order.

Cat trapping is one of the most effective methods to reduce the number of stray, feral and nuisance cats in a neighbourhood. Residents can hire cat traps by calling Council’s customer service during business hours.

Barking Dogs


Dogs that bark excessively can be a source of great irritation within the community.

Where nuisances are found to be proven pursuant to section 32 of the Domestic Animals Act 1994, Authorised Council officers can issue notices to the dog owner to abate the nuisance, issue infringements and/or have the matter heard in the Magistrates’ Court to seek an order from the Court for the owner to abate the nuisance. Investigating such complaints can therefore be a very long process as sufficient evidence is required to be gathered to prove the nuisance and complainants must submit barking dog logs.



Roaming Dogs


Dogs unsecure to properties can cause severe nuisances for both pedestrian and motorists. The Domestic Animals Act requires all dog owners to securely confine dogs to the property at all times, unless under the effective control by the owner whilst out. E.g. On a lead.
In circumstances where repeat offenders (more than three offences) of roaming/trespassing cats/dogs are found, and the issuing of infringements and relevant impound release fees have not curved the behaviour, Council can pursue the matter in the Magistrates’ Court. Council can also seek an order from the Court to require the owner to carry out works to ensure the animal is not able to escape from the owner’s premises.

CURRENT SITUATION





2011

2012

No. of barking dog complaints received



98

64

No. of cat traps hired



80

81

No. of roaming dog complaints received


185

234

Current Education/Promotion Activities relating to nuisance animals:


  • Providing barking dog information kits;

  • Providing information relating to building cat enclosures;

  • Information provided on Council’s website;

  • Promoting the State Government’s ‘Who’s for Cat’s Campaign?’;

  • Providing information brochures from the DPI to the public;

  • Encouraging the de-sexing of cats and dogs to reduce wandering;

  • Encouraging dog owners to seek advice from professional dog trainers and trial barking dog citronella collars.

Current Compliance Activities relating to nuisance animals:


  • Investigating nuisance complaints and ensuring minimal timeframes;

  • Sending out barking dog formal complaint statements and barking dog logs;

  • Issuing notices to comply, notices of objection and infringements where necessary;

  • Providing cat trapping programs to residents;

  • Patrolling parks and streets to ensure dog owners are carrying litter devices to remove such animal litter;

  • Impounding of wandering dogs.

OUR PLANS

Objective 1: Introduce a Council Order relating to the control of dogs in public places pursuant to Section 26 of the Domestic Animals Act 1994. (On/Off Leash requirements)

Activity

When

Evaluation

Seek community consultation relating to dogs in public places and investigate the feasibility of designated off-leash areas

2013/14

Asses public feedback and comments to devise a plan in relation to on and off leash areas within the Shire

Resolve a Council Order relating to the control of dogs in public places, by gazetting and publicly advertising Council Order

2014

Documentation to be finalised and approved by Council prior implementation

Educate dog owners out in public, media releases and information supplied in animal registration renewal notices.

Erect signage in parks where appropriate



2014

Ensure appropriate level of education has been provided before enforcing new order

Implement and enforce Order to ensure compliance, roster Officer/s to patrol streets & parks

2015

Record data relating to notices/warnings issued V suburb to strategise education campaigns

Decreased number of animal litter and dog off lead complaints received




Objective 2: Review the need to introduce a cat curfew within the Shire

Activity

When

Evaluation

Seek public consultation via website, mail out to registered cat owners and media releases relating to Council implementing a 24 hour cat curfew, Night-time curfew or no curfew

2014/15

Review feedback and number of complaints received relating to roaming cats over the last few years.

Outcome determines whether to formally put forward a report to Council or not.




Objective 3: Educate the community relating to impact domestic pets can have on native wildlife

Activity

When

Evaluation

Liaise with local wildlife carers to create a media release relating to impacts cats/dogs have on native wildlife and importance to confine pets.

2014/15

Review feedback


Update Council’s website to list wildlife volunteers and carers contact details and create a page specifically for wildlife and issues with domestic pets.

2013/14

Wildlife volunteers feedback and community feedback




MINIMISING THE RISK OF DOG ATTACKS AND RUSHES

Council is committed to protecting and enhancing the safety of the community in relation to aggressive and inappropriately behaved dogs.

Officers respond to reports relating to dog attacks/rushes and aggressive roaming dogs as a matter of urgency 24hours a day. Dog attacks are investigated thoroughly and officers are trained to collate all evidence relating to an attack to formulate a brief, which includes obtaining statements, photographs, DNA evidence (where required) and vet/medical reports.

Where enough evidence exists for an alleged dog attack or rush, Council can consider a number of possible courses of action, such as:



  • Issue infringement/s (where non-serious injuries are sustained or dog rushes a person);

  • Declare the dog to be Menacing or Dangerous;

  • Prosecute the matter in a Magistrates’ Court;

  • Seek destruction/compensation orders by Magistrate;

  • Seek mediation between parties;

Responsible pet ownership is an imperative component when it comes to minimising dog attack related incidents. Dogs that are regularly socialised with other animals and people, securely confined to the owner’s property or kept under effective control whilst being walked; are less likely to be the one’s causing such incidents.

Animal registration fees include a subsidy to the State Government’s Bureau of Animal Welfare, which help funds programs such as responsible pet ownership in schools, pre-schools, maternal health centres, hospitals and the ‘We Are Family’ programs.

Current Education/Promotion Activities


  • Providing information at Council offices and to new residents;

  • Promoting the effective confinement and control of dogs;

  • Promoting the Bureau of Animal Welfare Responsible Pet Ownership (RPO) schools programs;

  • Promoting puppy socialisation and obedience training;

Current Compliance Activities


  • Attendance to all stray/wandering/unsecure dog reports throughout the Shire;

  • After hours response to all reports of dogs attacking or showing aggression;

  • Investigating all alleged dog attacks and rushes;



  • Seizing and holding suspected attacking dog/s pending investigation/prosecution outcome;

  • Impounding of wandering/unsecure dogs;

  • Issuing warnings/infringements for wandering or unsecure dogs

  • Seeking destruction Orders from Magistrates’ Court where necessary

  • Proactive patrols of parks and streets for wandering dogs

  • Recording data of reported dog attacks in the municipality

OUR PLANS

Objective 1: To minimise the incidence of dog attacks in the community

Activity

When

Evaluation

Collate detailed information pertaining to dog attack related matters to build a database to enable Council to target education/compliance activities in the future for any emerging trends.

Eg. date/time, suburb, animal type, dog attacked animal/person, dog unsecured/off lead, dog unregistered, sex, entire/de-sexed

Instigate proactive education and compliance activities against the arising trends.


Ongoing

When determined



Evaluate data annually to determine any emerging trends, which requires specific education/compliance activities

Eg. Higher number of attacks reported in an area, or:

Higher number of attacks relate to livestock

Compare number of reported dog attack incidents pre and post campaign.




Inform the community of outcomes of dog attacks prosecuted in Court via media

As occurs

As occurs

Set key performance indicators for Officers to complete dog attack investigations within a 6 week timeframe.

2014


Review reports annually to evaluate percentage completed within timeframe.

Objective 2: Promote participation in local dog obedience clubs, socialisation with other animals and other training.

Activity

When

Evaluation

Insert flyer in animal renewal notices to promote responsible pet ownership by encouraging the training and socialisation of animals.

2015/16

Liaise with local businesses and clubs to collate a ‘Shire List’ to create a flyer.

MANAGING DANGEROUS, MENACING AND RESTRICTED BREED DOGS

Council has six (6) declared menacing dogs and three (3) declared dangerous dogs currently registered within the Shire. There are no restricted breed dogs registered.


Declared menacing dogs refers to a dog that has either, inflicted a non-serious bite to a person or animal; or rushed up to a person or chased a person in an aggressive manner.

Owners of menacing dogs must abide by conditions specified by Council, being the dog is muzzled and leashed when outside the premises of its owner at all times.


Declared dangerous dogs refers to a dog that is kept for guarding non-residential premises, a dog that has attacked causing serious injury to an animal or person, or a dog that was declared menacing and its owner did not comply with the imposed requirements on 2 or more occasions.

Owners of dangerous dogs must abide by specific regulations in particular; secure enclosures, secure perimeter fencing for guarding dogs, warning signs on premises, wearing its prescribed dangerous dog collar at all times and being muzzled and on leash in public.


Though Council does not encourage the keeping of such classified dogs, Council however is committed to ensure owners of any of these types of dogs are aware of their responsibilities.

Current Education/Promotion Activities


  • Information provided at Council offices and website.

  • Consult with dog owner relating to legislation requirements and any changes/updates.


Current Compliance Activities


  • Ensuring all declared dogs are registered on the VDDR

  • Conducting inspections on premises housing declared dogs to ensure compliance

  • Dog declarations made where applicable

  • Prosecution/Infringements issued for any determined breach

OUR PLANS

Objective 1: Ensure declared dogs are compliant to relevant legislation and regulations

Activity

When

Evaluation

Random property inspections of declared dogs to ensure compliance

Ongoing

Review audit procedures as occurs

Prosecute repeat offenders or serious breaches detected

As occurs

As occurs

After hours patrols for unregistered guard dogs in industrial areas

As occurs

As occurs

Educate the community about what is a declared dog

Ongoing

Review complaints received



MINIMISING OVERPOPULATION AND EUTHANASIA

Council is committed to protect and enhance animal welfare and participates in activities that reduce the number of unwanted or unowned pets.


Overpopulation of cats is a particular issue across the state, this is primarily due to a high occurrence of feral, stray and ‘partial owned’ cats. Many of these cats are undesexed and carry disease (eg. feline aids), which results in unwanted litters and a poor state of health for these animals.

Current Education/Promotion Activities





  • Promoting benefits of de-sexing;

  • Promoting ‘Who’s for cats?’ campaign (State initiative);

  • Promoting appropriate pet selection;

  • Promoting cat enclosures and build your own cat enclosures;

  • Promote and encourage the Council’s cat trapping program.

Our current Compliance Activities





  • Cat trapping program;

  • Investigating unregistered breeding establishments and animal hoarding issues;

  • Enforcing the Local Law relating to number of cats/dogs on a property;

  • Assessing excess animal applications, factoring in number of entire/de-sexed animals;

OUR PLANS

Objective 1: Encourage the de-sexing of animals

Activity

When

Evaluation

Investigate the feasibility of offering discounted fees for initial registration for cats and dogs that are both micro-chipped and de-sexed under 3 months of age



2014/15

Community consultation and feedback
Number of new animals registered in category yearly



Objective 2: Identify illegally operated domestic animal breeding establishments in the municipality and ensure compliance and/or close down.

Activity

When

Evaluation

Investigate any alleged or suspected breeding establishment reported or found.

Conduct media campaign to raise awareness of DAB definition for breeding establishments and code of practices that must be adhered too. Promote community to report unregistered premises. Eg. puppy farms
Investigate advertisements of pets for sale

As required


2015/16

As required


Evaluate number of complaints received and properties inspected.


Evaluate number of complaints received and unregistered establishments detected.



Objective 3: Educate and encourage the public to participate in a cat trapping program

Activity

When

Evaluation

Initiate media releases and advertise Council’s Cat Trapping program to encourage participation



2015/16

Number of cat traps hired over the campaign period

Investigate the need to purchase more cat traps




2015/16

Number of cat traps not available




Objective 4: Introduction of a desexing voucher scheme

Activity

When

Evaluation

Investigate the feasibility to offer pensioners within the community a reduced rate desexing voucher in partnership with local vets



2015/16

Number of vets willing to participate
Number of vouchers collected V number of vouchers used




DOMESTIC ANIMAL BUSINESSES


Our current data
Domestic Animal Businesses (DABs) are establishments such as animal shelters, pet shops, animal breeding and/or rearing establishments, boarding and/or training facilities that are run for profit. Registered domestic animal businesses are audited both randomly and on receipt of complaints.

Current Education/Promotion Activities

  • Providing information to registered domestic animal businesses;

  • Promoting DPI information and codes of practices;

  • Advertising new legislation amendments.

Current Compliance Activities

  • Annual registration of DABs;

  • Annual and random auditing of DABs both scheduled and unscheduled;

  • Investigating suspected or reported unregistered domestic animal businesses;

  • Liaison with planning department to ensure planning conditions are adhered too;

  • Issuing/enforcing of infringement notices/notice to comply

OUR PLANS

Objective: Ensure domestic animal businesses are compliant with relevant legislation and codes of practice

Activity

When

Evaluation

Audit domestic animal businesses to ensure compliance




Annually/Randomly/As required


Compliance with local laws and related legislation


Monitor Council’s registration database for owners with more than 3 fertile females



2015/16

Compliance with local laws and related legislation

Conduct searches for unregistered domestic animal businesses via internet/media/news papers



2015/16

Evaluate number of properties inspected with number of unregistered premises found.



EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OF ANIMALS

Macedon Ranges is one of the most fire-prone municipalities in Victoria and Council has a long history of emergency management planning. Council is committed to improving how we plan for animals in emergency situations to provide much needed support to our community and help to minimise the loss of pets and livestock.

This is important to ensure the safety of our companion animals but also recognises that pets are considered part of the family and the bond between people and animals can strongly influence decision making in times of crisis. The lack of adequate planning for the management of animals and their welfare in emergencies can result in poor, last minute decisions with dangerous or fatal consequences for pets and their owners.

As pets are reliant on owners for their safety in an emergency, it is essential that your survival plan includes pets and other animals on your property. Some of the questions that you need to answer about taking care of your pets in an emergency include:




  • How would I transport my pet?

  • Where can I go that will allow me to have my pet with me?

  • If I have to leave my pet behind, how can I keep him or her safe and healthy?

  • If we evacuate, what equipment and supplies would I need to take to keep my pet healthy and safe?

  • How can I find my pet again if we get separated?

Council now has an Emergency Management Animal Welfare Plan that helps residents and emergency personnel manage pet animals and livestock. Pet owners have a 'duty of care' to plan and provide for the needs of their animals, the plan can assist pet owners during these stressful events.


Pets can be accommodated at Relief Centres set up in the Shire during emergencies and at Hot Day Out Centres that open in days or extreme and Code Red fire danger days.
OUR PLANS

Objective: To accurately plan and manage animals in emergency relief centres

Activity

When

Evaluation

Review procedures and resources for supporting pet owners and their pets at emergency relief centres



Ongoing

Update plan as required



MONITORING AND REVIEWING THE PLAN

As per 68A(3) of the Domestic Animals Act 1994, Council will review its Domestic Animal Management Plan annually to assess whether any amendments are necessary in order to ensure the plan is relevant and can be completed within the required timeframes.

The tasks and objectives outlined reflect the issues and opportunities identified in developing this Plan. Timelines may be affected by a changing community, Council, State and Federal Government service priorities, and the availability of Council and external funding.

In the final year of the plan, Council will undertake a major review and prepare the next domestic animal management plan for the 2016 – 2020 period.



APPENDIX 1 –MACEDON SHIRE RANGES COUNCIL GENERAL LOCAL LAWS NUMBER 8, PART 4 - ANIMAL CONTROL



APPENDIX 1 (CONTINUED)




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