Keeping a Pet in Port Macquarie-Hastings
Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world. Being the owner of a companion animal is a serious responsibility and there are laws you must follow. You should look after your companion animal and ensure that it is healthy, groomed, vaccinated, and properly exercised and socialised. A happy animal can provide great enjoyment, companionship and pleasure.
Council has guidelines to assist in the management and keeping of animals within the Local Government Area, for further details please contact a Council Ranger.
The Companion Animals Act
As a companion animal owner you have responsibilities towards the wider community as well as towards your pet. The Companion Animals Act sets out some of these responsibilities, and gives councils the power to assist, and where necessary enforce the law to ensure that all owners meet these responsibilities.
Your Responsibilities as a Pet Owner in Port Macquarie-Hastings
- You are responsible for ensuring that your animal does not harm or threaten any other person or animal. For dog owners this means that you must be able to contain your dog on your property, and when you are in public with your dog you must keep it on a leash except in leash-free designated areas. The owners of restricted breeds of dog have more stringent responsibilities. So do the owners of dogs which have been declared dangerous for attacking other animals or people.
- If you own a cat, you are encouraged to keep them inside at night to reduce the chances of them fighting and hunting other animals. It is a good idea for your cat to wear a bell on its collar to warn animals. In addition you are required to ensure that your cat stays out of restricted areas such as food preparation areas.
- As an owner of either a dog or a cat you must make sure that your animal is not causing a nuisance, whether by making a persistent noise, straying or interfering with other people's property. Dog owners are also required to promptly dispose of any faeces which their dog may leave anywhere other than your own property.
- Finally, you must ensure that your animal is permanently identified by microchip and is properly registered. Dogs must wear a collar with a tag which shows the name of the dog and the address or telephone number of the owner of the dog. Cats must have some form of identification which allows the owner to be contacted, and owners are encouraged to put a collar on their cat.
The permanent identification and lifetime registration system which came into effect on 1 July 1999 has helped Council return lost and injured animals to their owners.