Domestic Animal Management Plan City of Greater Geelong draft 2013 2017 table of contents



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DOMESTIC ANIMAL BUSINESSES

Outline programs, services and strategies which the Council intends to pursue in its municipal district to ensure that people comply with this Act, the regulations and any related legislation.



Current Situation


Council takes very seriously any reports of suspected ‘backyard breeders and any Domestic Animal Businesses (DABs) that may not be operating in accordance with the DAA and relevant Codes of Practice. Council will inspect and investigates these reports promptly to eliminate the risk to the community and to protect the welfare of animals involved. Council will continue to utilise all available legislation to control and manage Domestic Animal Businesses and eliminate any ‘backyard breeders’ within our municipality. As at December 2012 the following information was applicable:


  • 10 registered Domestic Animal Businesses

  • 15 boarding establishments

  • 1 dog training business under consideration

All DABs are audited annually and followed up on non-compliance issues. Council also monitors all animals sold to ensure they have been microchipped and registered.



Council Policies and Procedures


  • State Legislation applies to the management and operation of Domestic Animal Businesses

  • Forms for registration and information DAB’s are available on Council website and at Council offices

  • All DABs must be registered and audited annually

  • Each registration to be individually considered against checklist as to whether specific conditions are required

  • Council maintains a standard record/audit sheets on database of registered DABs

  • Education and enforcement strategy associated with issuing notices to comply, infringement notices and filing charges for prosecution regarding management of dogs and cats

  • Operational procedures including OHS Work Instructions are available to guide officers in the performance of their duties.

  • Authorised Officers will attend VCAT hearings to hear appeals of proprietors of domestic animal businesses when and if required



Our Current Education/Promotion Activities


  • Provide all DAB’s with relevant Codes of Practice

  • BAW fact sheets on DABs available in Council offices and with website links established



Our Current Compliance Activities


  • Register all DABs

  • Conduct an annual audit of all DAB’s including relevant audit documentation

  • Follow up any non-compliance as required

  • Regular patrols for new/non-registered DAB’s – on notification

  • Conduct random inspections of DABs

  • Regular ‘Google’ and local paper check to search for possible undiscovered DABs

  • Follow up registration on animals sold from DAB’s

  • Conduct annual re-registration audits annually to allow any non compliance to be addressed

  • Ensure that any non compliance with permit conditions is rectified using notices to comply, information sheets etc

  • In cases of serious non compliance, permits may be suspended or cancelled

  • Non complying DABs will not receive re-registration until legislative requirements are met

  • Procedures in place for DAB’s to notify Council of any animals sol or given away

  • Investigate all reported complaints about DAB’s within operational response timeframes

  • Provide educational information to people making queries about setting up a DAB to let them know of all the requirements involved, before they start making too many plans

  • DAB registration fees are set to reflect the cost of annual audits and inspections

  • Investigate reports of unauthorised ‘backyard breeders’ to ascertain whether they should be registered as a DAB



Summary


Over the next four years, Council will work to ensure that all Domestic Animal Businesses are compliant with the Code of Practice and that ‘backyard breeders’ are eliminated.
To achieve this aim Council Officers will regularly conduct inspections to monitor compliance. Where breaches of the code are observed, enforcement will be prompt and relevant action take in accordance with the Act. Council Officers will actively work within the community to detect breaches and investigate complaints particularly in relation to ‘backyard breeders’, providing education and information to protect the welfare of animals.

Our Plans


  • Ensure that all Animal Management Officers (AMOs) and their supervisors are updated on the legislation in relation to DABs

  • Annually inspect and audit all registered DABs and investigate any suspected unregistered DABs.

  • Identify and close down all illegally operating Domestic Animal Breeding establishments in the municipality

  • Identify and register all Domestic Animal Businesses in the municipality


Objective 1: Ensure that all Animal Management Officers (AMOs) and their supervisors are updated on the legislation in relation to DABs.


Activity

When

Evaluation

Form a working group within council of AMOs to review all of the fact sheets, documents, matrix of changes and new DAA.


Ongoing

Add to skill matrix that officers have been to AMO seminars and read all DPI provided information

Be involved with the Code review for Breeding and Rearing Establishments – though MAV, public meetings, etc

Ongoing

Make a Council approved submission on the Breeding Code document at formal public comment stage


Objective 2: Annually inspect and audit all registered DABs and investigate any suspected unregistered DABs.


Activity

When

Evaluation

AMOs will audit all DABs in their relevant geographic area of responsibility

Annually

All DABs audited

Number of prosecutions




AMOs will conduct random patrols of all DABs in their relevant geographic area of responsibility

Annually

Number of new DABs identified

Number of prosecutions




Investigate any report of unregistered DAB within operational response timeframes

Ongoing

Number of reports

Number of prosecutions





Objective 3: Identify and close down all illegally operating Domestic Animal Breeding establishments in the municipality


Activity

When

Evaluation

Undertake education campaign to promote awareness about definition of breeding DABs, and COP requirements for businesses:

Advertisements in local classifieds


Website information
Follow up people advertising pets for sale (eg in local papers or on local noticeboards), to determine if they are a DAB and are registered with council

Ongoing

Compare number of council registered breeding establishments before and after campaign (would expect an increase)


Objective 4: Identify and register all Domestic Animal Businesses in the municipality


Activity

When

Evaluation

Identify all businesses that should be registered DABs in the municipality, using yellow pages, local newspapers and markets (or similar including online sites) identify businesses selling pets/pet products/services in the municipality. Follow up to determine whether they are and should be registered with Council

Ongoing

Compare number of register DABs before and after activity

Distribute BAW fact sheets regarding changes to the definition of DABs

Ongoing

BAW sheets distributed

BAW links placed on Council’s website



Provide information to the public on how to register a complaint regarding a DAB that they believe is non compliant

Year 1

Website updated

Number of complaints received



Continue to provide a DAB registration number system for our municipality. These numbers have to be placed in advertisements by DABs of animals for sale, along with the name of the Council that issued the number




DAB Registration number system and on all DAB Registration Certificates issued as required

OTHER MATTERS

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



Current Situation


  • AMOs are all authorised under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (POCTA Act) and actively investigate all reported animal cruelty matters. Assistance is also provided to the RSPCA in their investigations of alleged cruelty

  • AMOs provides assistance to our community during emergencies and periods of community need. AMOs provide assistance to the State, Local Police when required during emergencies such as recovery or domestic issues

  • Liaise with key stakeholders regarding animal management issues including access to public open spaces, control of domestic animals, canvassing on proposed Councils Orders

  • Promote Responsible Pet Ownership through the community

  • In-house Prosecutions Team dedicated to ensuring statutory obligations met, quality investigation briefs and cases managed efficiently and actively prosecuted in the relevant courts



Council Policies and Procedures


  • Education and enforcement strategy associated with issuing notices to comply, infringement notices and filing charges for prosecution regarding management of dogs and cats

  • Operational procedures including OHS Work Instructions are available to guide Officers in the performance of their duties

  • City of Greater Geelong Emergency Management Plan (GEMP)



Our current Education/Promotion Activities


  • Advise residents of fireworks situations in City News so owners can reduce animal fear and escape



Our current Compliance Activities


  • Long established relationship with RSPCA

  • Develop a contact list for regarding animal emergency planning – Council contacts, shelters, animal welfare organisations, DPI. And work out your arrangements with those contacts in the event of emergencies.

  • Annual inspection of excess animal permit properties, particularly those with permit for large number of animals

  • Establish Animal Management Liaison Group with neighbouring Councils for sharing of ideas, policies and procedures, etc

  • Seek assistance from RSPCA and other authorised POCTA Act officers in implementing and enforcing the POCTA Act, Regulations and Codes of Practice (COPs)



Summary


The city of Greater Geelong is a municipality with great lifestyle and strengths that balances pet ownership with the needs of the community and the environment. The following principles underpin actions with regard to dogs and cats:

  • The belief that pets contribute to our quality of life

  • A requirement to balance the needs of those who own pets and those who do not

  • To value responsible pet ownership

  • Proactive animal management and education

  • Ensuring the environment is protected from the negative impacts of dogs and cats

  • To work in partnership with others

  • Play a leadership role in animal management



Our Plans


  • Promote emergency planning to ensure the welfare of animals in emergencies

  • Continue to educate the community on responsible pet ownership and the benefits of pet ownership

  • To provide a safe, balanced and harmonious community for all


Objective 1 Promote emergency planning to ensure the welfare of animals in emergencies:


Activity

When

Evaluation

Liaise with breeding and boarding DABs regarding their emergency plans

Year 3

Number of visits to discuss emergency management

Discuss emergency animal welfare plans and Council Policy for evacuation/relief centres with MERO

Year 3

Item considered by Council Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee

Proposed actions identified and implemented



Provide education to residents regarding planning for their pets in emergencies

Year 3

DPI information distributed and link available on website


Objective 2 Continue to educate the community on responsible pet ownership and benefits of pet ownership aimed at community harmony and reduced nuisances


Activity

When

Evaluation

  • Provide web links to Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (POCTA Act) information, codes (dog and cat private keeping, etc), brochures, etc, via Council’s website.

Year 2

Links available on website

Promote the role of Council Animal Management Officers (Authorised Officers) through web site, education programs and media



Ongoing

Education programs modified

Information on website

Articles on social media

Number of media articles



Activity

When

Evaluation

Review the visibility of Councils AMO to residents by providing highly visible uniforms and vehicles

Year 1

AMO vehicles and uniform clearly identified incorporating the ‘Lead the Way’ brand

Continue to keep community, pet owners, stakeholders informed through Tag Times and E Mail newsletter – distribute to registered pet owners, vets and DABs

Ongoing




Develop RPO programs targeting students in Secondary Colleges as the next generation of pet owners

Year 2

Programs developed

Education delivered to Secondary Students



Encourage the BAW to provide translated material (oral and/or printed) on RPO and Nuisance issues in multi-cultural languages

Year 3

Multi-cultural material produced by BAW on RPO and Nuisance issues

ANNUAL REVIEW OF PLAN AND ANNUAL REPORTING

Council must




  • Review its domestic animal management plan annually and, if appropriate, amend the plan

  • Provide the Department of Primary Industries’ Secretary with a copy of the plan and any amendments to the plan

  • Publish an evaluation of its implementation of the plan in its annual report.

Each year Council conducts a review of the Domestic Animal Management Plan. A copy of this review is presented to Council annually for information. This report is then forwarded to the Department of Primary Industries’ Secretary with any proposed amendments. Additionally a copy of this report is included in Council’s Annual Report which community have access to via Council’s website.


Annual and Ongoing activities will be reported in the following format


Objective

Activities Undertaken

Evaluation

Training of Authorised Officers





Yearly activities will be reported in the following format


Objective

When evaluated

Activities Undertaken

Evaluation

Reconcile the National Microchip Registry with Councils registration data prior to renewal period each year

Year 1

  • Conduct a pet census/survey to determine total number of cats residing in the municipality






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