Recently there have been a number of dog attacks on livestock with significant loss of livestock and dogs being destroyed as a result. Dog owners need to be aware that there are penalties for wandering dogs and if their dog wanders onto property with livestock, the property owner has the right to injure or destroy the dog.
Sections 43 and 48 of the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 outline the penalties for wandering dogs and the powers to protect people and property from dogs as stated below (please note only part of each section is quoted):
Division 1 – Offences relating to duties of owners and others responsible for control of dog
43 – Dogs not allowed to wander at large
(1) A person who owns or is responsible for the control of dog is guilty of an offence if the dog is found wandering at large. Maximum penalty:
(a) for a first offence –
(i) if the dog is a dangerous dog or a dog of a prescribed breed – $2500;
(ii) in any other case – $250;
(b) for a subsequent offence –
(i) if the dog is a dangerous dog or a dog of a prescribed breed – $5000;
(ii) in any other case – $750;
(i) if the dog is a dangerous dog or a dog of a prescribed breed – $210;
(ii) in any other case – $80.
Division 2 – Action to protect the person or property against dogs
48 – Power to protect persons or property from dogs
(1) A person may lawfully injure or destroy a dog if that action is reasonable and necessary for the protection of life or property.
(2) If a dog is unaccompanied by a person, is found in an enclosed paddock or other enclosed place in which an animal which is being farmed is confined, the owner or occupier of the place, or a person acting under the authority of the owner or occupier, may lawfully injure or destroy the dog.
(3) A warden under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972, or a dog management officer, who finds a dog attacking or harassing a protected animal within the meaning of that Act on a reserve within the meaning of that Act may lawfully injure or destroy the dog if there is no other way of protecting the animal.
To prevent wandering dogs and dog attacks, Council recommends dog owners keep their pet on their own property.
Don’t risk penalties! Don’t risk your dog! Ensure your dog is always kept within your property.