Why does Council need to have a Urban Animal Management Plan?
The Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 sets out the requirements for council’s to ensure that a management plan is in effect covering issues related to dog and cat management specific to the demographics of that Council. The plan must include provisions for parks where dogs may be exercised off-leash and for parks where dogs must be under effective control by means of physical restraint, and may include provisions for parks where dogs are prohibited.
Why is the Strategic Urban Animal Management Plan being updated?
The Dog and Cat Management Act also specifies that each plan must cover a five year period. Council’s previous Plan was for the period 2010-2015. Over the last five years Council has worked steadily on this Plan and have completed the identified actions that were relevant for this time period. We now need to look forward on how we can improve dog and cat management across the city for the next five years.
What are the big changes?
We still consider our mission statement, strategic objectives and fundamental principles to be very relevant to our community.
Our strategies and aims have changed slightly to align with Council’s Community Plan 2013-2027 and have a greater focus on environmental implications and urban planning.
For a summary of our proposed changes click here.
Who has the final say and approves the Plan?
Once our Community have had their say, changes will be incorporated in to the Final Plan and will be presented to our Council for their endorsement. The Plan will then be submitted to the Dog and Cat Management Board for their consideration and approval.
What will happen if the proposed Dog and Cat Management Act amendments are approved by Parliament?
Some forward planning has been built in to our Draft Plan and any changes to the Dog and Cat Management Act will be addressed accordingly. If approved, Council’s will need to work closely with the State Government and the Dog and Cat Management Board to ensure that the changes are integrated in to our pet community in the best way.
Why do dogs have to be on-lead or off-lead in certain locations?
Our Plan needs to provide the provisions for a balance of off-lead areas for owners to exercise and socialise their dogs, however, we also have to ensure that where unsuitable some areas are declared as on-lead or dog free. We will continue to investigate and assess the suitability of on-lead, off-lead and dog free areas in line with our Community’s needs.
Will Council ban dogs from the foreshore or make the foreshore an on-lead area at all times?
This will be up to the community! We have built in to our plan to investigate heavily used public areas over the next five years to ensure that their use is suitable. There will need to be a lot more community consultation and investigation before there would be any changes on our foreshore.
There are too many un-owned cats in my neighbourhood. How will Council plan to address these issues?
Council is committed to developing innovative and proactive approaches to animal management and our current feedback has told us that this is an issue our community feel strongly about. We have incorporated this in to our Plan and we intend to build on our current processes while being open to different strategies where necessary to target unique circumstances.