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Frequently Asked Questions

As the owner or person in charge of a dog, you have certain responsibilities and legal requirements. These include:

  • Registering a dog that is over the age of six (6) months.
  • Keeping your dog on a lead (no longer than two metres) when you are walking in a public place including a road, footpath, park, beach or town. (This does not apply to off leash areas, but the dog still needs to be under effective control)
  • Ensuring that the dog does not roam and that it is under your effective control.
  • Restricting your dog sufficiently while it is in or on a vehicle so that it is unable to leave the vehicle or attack any person or animal outside the vehicle.
  • Preventing your dog from rushing at or chasing a moving vehicle or bicycle whilst in a public place.
  • Making sure that a bitch on heat is confined away from public places.
  • Cleaning up after your dog.

An authorised person (eg; Compliance Officer) may request from a dog owner his or her name and place of residence if the authorised person reasonably believes that the person is committing, has committed or attempted to commit an offence under the Dog Control Act 2000 (The Act).

A person must not –

  • Fail or refuse to state his or her name or place of residence; or
  • Give a false name or place of residence.

A person, in making any application or giving any information under “The Act”, must not –

  • Make a statement knowing it to be false or misleading; or omit any matter knowing that without that matter the application or information is misleading.

Dog registration is a legal requirement under the Dog Control Act 2000 (The Act). You can be fined for not complying. However, there are many additional reasons to register your dog.

When discussing the importance of registration, Council is often asked why an owner should register when microchipping will help a lost pet find its way home. While microchipping provides a reunification service, there are many things that microchipping cannot provide that registration does. This section outlines some of the key community facilities and services that your dog registration fee pays for.

Facilities

Your pet registration fees may go toward providing the following facilities:

  • Dog parks, including off leash parks and fenced dog parks.
  • Dog poo bag dispensers and bags.
  • Pound facilities. Maybe explain why this is good e.g. housing abandon or dangerous dogs. This enables a safe environment for dogs that have been found when locating their owner.
  • Up keep of pound facilities. This enables the pound facility to be free from diseases such as the parvo disease.

Reunification

  • Individualised registration tags for each of your registered dogs. Dog and owner details are updated annually, as it is easier and faster to reunite a dog with its owner.
  • Animal management staff can be employed to support the collection and return of wandering dogs to owners.

Events, incentive schemes and information may include

  • Free information booklets and fact sheets.
  • Dog events.
  • Discount incentive schemes for new registrations.
  • Dog poo bags with pouch.

Employing animal management staff

  • Staff to attend to nuisance complaints such as:
    -barking complaints,
    -dog trespassing complaints, and
    -wandering and stray dogs, etc.
  • Staff to attend to and investigate dog attack/bite/rushing incidents.
  • Staff to patrol parks, beaches and streets.
  • Staff to manage and run pound facilities.
  • Training courses and programs for animal management staff to ensure they have the most up to date information and skills in animal management.
  • Animal management tools to ensure animal management officers are able to perform their role in the most efficient and comprehensive manner.

Dangerous and restricted breed dog management

Your registration fees cover the costs of staff to enforce the control of dangerous, menacing and restricted breed dogs to ensure that owners are compliant with the legislation and ensure these dogs do not pose a threat to the community.

Exotic disease and biosecurity

The State Government uses pet registration information for responding to exotic disease threats that effect dogs. Without proper knowledge of the location of dogs, in the event of a disease outbreak, the State Government cannot know who to contact to prevent the spread of or effectively plan the eradication of the disease.

Every dog over the age of six (6) months must be registered with Council.

Registering puppies at six (6) months of age encourages early age desexing of dogs. This may in turn prevent the breeding of unwanted dogs, many of which are euthanised each year across Tasmania.

Registering puppies at six (6) months of age also ensures that more lost puppies can be returned to their owners. In addition, owners receive discounted registration fees if their puppies are desexed or first time registering.

For registration forms please refer to www.circularhead.tas.gov.au

The registration period begins on the 1 st of June and finishes on the 31 st of May the following year. To qualify for a discount, registration renewal fees are due by 31 July each year.

 

Registration fees

The types and levels of fees are set by Council, and vary depending on a number of factors. Please see the fees and charges for the current fee on our website at: www.circularhead.tas.gov.au

You are eligible for reduced registration fees if your dog is:

  • De-sexed.
  • Used as a working dog.
  • Have a concession, pension card or health care card.

Generally, yes, the owner or person in charge of a dog, other than an assistance dog, must ensure that the dog, while in a public place, has a collar fastened around its neck to which the dog's registration tag is attached.

This section does not apply to –

  • a working dog engaged in working; or
  • a hunting dog engaged in hunting; or
  • a dog engaged in racing; or
  • a dog engaged in showing; or
  • a dog engaged in trialling; or
  • a dog engaged in training for any activity referred

 

The owner or person in charge of an assistance dog must ensure that the dog, while in a public place, has its registration tag attached to its collar, lead or harness.

A person, without just cause, must not remove a collar from a dog that is in a public place.

A replacement registration tag is available from the Council office at a small cost, or by calling 6452 4800. Please see the fees and charges for the current fee on our website at: www.circularhead.tas.gov.au

Dog registration renewals that are unpaid at 1 August will incur the full registration fee. Late registrations create additional administrative costs in reminders and postage as well as staff time.

If you do not register your dog  any or all of the following may occur:

  • An infringement notice may be issued.
  • We may seize and impound the dog.
  • We may prosecute the dog owner.

Fees incurred are in relation to the seizure of the unregistered dog; fees also apply while it is in our care, and before you can claim your dog you must register and (if required) arrange for your dog to be microchipped prior to its release.

The owner of a dog that is over 6 months of age must ensure that the dog is implanted with an approved microchip.

This does not apply to –

  • a dog which a veterinary surgeon has issued a certificate stating that to implant the dog with a microchip may adversely affect the health and welfare of the dog; or
  • a type, class or breed of dog that the Minister, by order, declares it does not require to be implanted with a microchip.

If a dog that is required to be implanted with a microchip is not implanted and is seized in accordance with The Act, then the General Manager may cause the dog to be implanted with an approved microchip. The owner of the dog is liable for the costs associated with the implanting.

This also applies to all dogs that have been registered with Council before the 1 st September 2017 unless the dog comes under a classification.

Note: It is not required for a working dog to be microchipped. However by having your dog microchipped will help Council locate the owner of a lost dog.

The reason for providing proof that your dog is a working dog is because it is charged at a discounted fee. Examples of proof include: the breed of your dog, the address that the dog works at, a letter from your employer or if you are the owner of the farming property, you need to provide a primary producer number.

A working dog is classified by the below criteria as per The Act.

working dog  means a dog used principally for –

  • droving or tending livestock; or
  • detecting illegal substances; or
  • searching, tracking or rescuing; or
  • working with police officers.

A hunting dog is not classified as a working dog as stated in The Act

hunting dog  means a dog used principally for hunting.

If you believe your dog is classified as a ‘working dog’, please complete a ‘Working Dog/s Self Assessment Application Form’  and submit to Council along with supporting documentation. Officers will then assess and determine if you qualify for registration discount. Working dogs are not exempt from registration but are from microchipping.

 

For further information regarding registration of working dogs please phone Council on 6452 4800.

If a dog attacks, harasses or menaces a person or other animal contact Council on 6452 4800 or the police as soon as possible. An investigation will be conducted by our Compliance Officer. 

If you are moving house permanently, or moving temporarily for more than 14 days with your dog, you will need to notify Council. This needs to be done within 14 days of moving. If you're transferring to a different municipal area, both your old and new councils will need to be notified in writing. You can notify Circular Head Council by filling out a change of dog details form. Then mail, email or drop off the form to Council. This form can be found on our website at www.circularhead.tas.gov.au or call Council on 6452 4800 and we can email the form to you.

Please note; you should also inform Council if you change your postal address or phone number. A current phone number is vital to track down the owners of dogs found at large.

As the previous owner, you must notify Council in writing that you no longer own the dog. This must occur within 14 days of the change of ownership. The new owner of the dog will need to notify Council of the change of ownership, in writing, within 14 days. You can notify Circular Head Council by filling out a change of dog details form. Then mail, email or drop off the form to Council. This form can be found on our website at www.circularhead.tas.gov.au or call Council on 6452 4800 and we can email the form to you.

In the unfortunate situation where your dog dies, you are obligated to notify Council in writing within 14 days of the dog's death. This also applies if your dog is lost or permanently removed from your premises. Once notified, Council will cancel your dog's registration. You can notify Circular Head Council by filling out a change of dog details form. Then mail, email or drop off the form to Council. This form can be found on our website at www.circularhead.tas.gov.au or call Council on 6452 4800 and we can email the form to you.

The Act has provisions for dogs which are, and which are not on a lead, whilst in a public place. If a dog is off a lead and in a public place, then the dog is still said to be under effective control if the following applies:

  • the dog is in close proximity to the person.
  • the dog is in sight of the person.
  • the person handling the dog can demonstrate satisfactorily to an authorised person that the dog will immediately respond to their commands.

To be under effective control on a road or footpath in a park or town a dog must be on a lead. If the dog is on a lead, it is said to be under effective control only if the lead is less than two metres long, and if the person is of a sufficient age and strength to control the dog.

If a dog is tethered to a stationary object, it must be a lead which is less than two metres long, and for a period not exceeding 30 minutes.

A person must not take a dog into –

  • any grounds of a school, preschool, kindergarten, crèche or other place for the reception of children without the permission of a person in charge of the place; or
  • any shopping centre or any shop; or
  • the grounds of a public swimming pool; or
  • any playing area of a sportsground on which sport is being played; or
  • any area within 10 metres of a children's playground.

This section does not apply to –

  • a guide dog that is accompanying a wholly or partially blind person or is in training for that purpose; or
  • a hearing dog that is accompanying a wholly or partially deaf person or is in training for that purpose; or
  • a pet shop; or
  • the premises of a veterinary surgeon; or
  • a pet-grooming shop; or
  • any other premises related to the care and management of dogs.

Yes.  You are always required to clean up after your dog when they are in a public place. Dog faeces are unpleasant and can damage the environment. Cleaning up can be done simply and easily with the aid of a scooper or plastic bag and placing the faeces into the nearest rubbish bin. This does not apply to a guide dog that is accompanying a wholly or partially blind person. Look out for the green dispensing bins with dog tidy bags placed throughout the municipality for your convenience. For more information visit

Under The Act you are required to apply to Council for a kennel licence if you intend to keep:

  • more than two dogs over the age of six months; or
  • more than four working dogs over the age of six months.

For more information on kennel licences please contact Council on 6452 4800.

Dogs may be declared dangerous if they have:

  • caused serious injury to a person or other animal; or
  • displayed behaviour that shows the animal is likely to cause serious injury.

If either of the above occurs, the General Manager is able to serve notice on the owner of the dog in question, and declare the dog to be dangerous. When this happens the owner of the dog has added responsibilities.

Whilst their dog is out in public they must ensure that:

  • the dog is always muzzled;
  • the dog's lead is no longer than 2 metres and strong enough to control and restrain the dog; and
  • the person in charge of the dog is over 18 years of age.

When the dog is on private premises the owner must ensure that:

  • the dog is enclosed in a child proof area; and
  • the dog is secured by a lead no longer than 2 metres when not under the supervision of an adult.

In addition, the dog must be microchipped and always wear an approved collar. The collar must have red and yellow diagonal stripes. If you own a dog that has been declared dangerous you must also ensure that there are approved warning signs on every entrance to your property. Council’s Compliance Officer will be able to tell you what form these signs and collars should take.

A nuisance dog is generally one that:

  • behaves in a dangerous way towards any person; and/or
  • is often noisy or disturbs the comfort and convenience of neighbours, or anyone in a public place.

If you are being annoyed by a neighbour's dog the best way to handle the situation is to discuss your concerns in a friendly way with your neighbour. If this fails to resolve the problem, the next step is to speak with Council.

As a dog owner you are responsible for ensuring that your dog is kept under control and does not become a nuisance. Neighbours can complain if your dog unreasonably disturbs the peace, and Council may issue a fine or abatement notice if you fail to prevent the disturbance. Lodging a formal complaint with Council should be your last resort, and to do so you will need to complete an appropriate form, pay a fee, and explain the nature and severity of the disturbance.

If you wish to keep a guard dog you need to notify the General Manager in writing. The General Manager will then declare the dog to be a dangerous dog, and the provisions relating to dangerous dogs will then apply. (See above) When the dog is no longer employed as a guard dog, you can again notify the General Manager in writing, and then they may revoke the declaration of dangerous dog.

Under The Act, an authorised officer can apprehend and impound your dog if it is found at large outside your property. If the dog is wearing a registration tag a Council Officer will make all reasonable efforts to contact the registered owner advising that the dog has been impounded.

An authorised person may seize and detain any dog at large.

If a dog is seized and its owner is identifiable, the General Manager is to notify the owner of the dog in writing that –

  • the dog has been seized and detained; and
  • the owner may reclaim the dog.

If, after five (5) working days after the notice has been given to the owner, the owner does not reclaim the dog, the General Manager may sell, destroy or otherwise dispose of the dog.

The General Manager is to take reasonable steps and make reasonable inquiries to identify the owner of a dog.

If a dog is seized and its owner is not identifiable, the General Manager, not less than three (3) working days after its seizure, may –

  • sell, destroy or otherwise dispose of the dog if it is not a dangerous dog or a restricted breed dog; or
  • destroy the dog if it is a dangerous dog or a restricted breed dog.

The owner of a dog seized must pay, within five (5) working days after the notice has been given –

  • any fees in relation to the seizure and detaining of the dog;
  • the reasonable cost of the dog's detention;
  • the cost of implanting the dog with a microchip;
  • any other fees or charges relating to the dog that have not been paid; and
  • in the case of an unregistered dog, the appropriate registration fee.

On payment of any fees and charges in respect of a dog, the General Manager is to release the dog to its owner.

Seizure and detention of other dogs

An authorised person may seize and detain any dog in respect of which the authorised person has reasonable cause to believe that an offence has been committed.

A seized dog is to be detained in a pound, approved animal welfare organisation or any form of custody the authorised person directs until –

  • if proceedings for an offence are instituted within seven (7) working days after the day on which the dog was seized, the completion of those proceedings; or
  • if the proceedings are not instituted within that period of seven (7) working days, the expiration of that period.

Interference with dogs in pounds

A person must not –

  • remove or interfere with any dog seized under this Division; or
  • destroy or damage any structure, enclosure or pound in which dogs seized under this Division are detained.

Yes. An authorised person may enter and remain in or on any premises at any reasonable time to determine –

  • the number of dogs on those premises;
  • whether or not any dog on those premises is registered; and
  • any other relevant matter relating to any licence.

An authorised person who has reason to believe that the owner or person in charge of a dog has committed an offence under The Act may –

  • enter onto land owned or occupied by that owner or person, but not any dwelling on that land; and
  • search for and seize any dog on that land.

A magistrate, by warrant, may empower an authorised person and any other person named in the warrant to enter a dwelling by force if –

  • the dwelling is not occupied; or
  • entry into the dwelling has been refused or is likely to be refused.

If a dog is seized under this section, the relevant General Manager must give the owner of the dog written notice stating –

  • the offence against The Act that it is alleged has been committed;
  • any steps that the General Manager requires to be undertaken before the dog is returned, to prevent the commission of the same or another offence against The Act; and
  • that the dog may be disposed of or destroyed if not claimed within five (5) days after the date of the notice.

www.legislation.tas.gov.au

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