Majority of dog owners abiding by State laws

The Burdekin Shire Council’s animal inspection program is showing that the majority of the dog and cat owners are abiding by the State Government legislation.

Environmental Health Manager Tracy Jensen said that since the program started on April 10, Council officers had inspected 846 premises.

“So far these officers have found 64 unregistered dogs and 31 unregistered cats, so the majority of residents are doing the right thing and abiding by the State’s Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008,” she said.

“In July 2010 the State Government brought in the requirement that all cat and dog owners in urban and rural areas in the Burdekin Shire had to register their pets.

Ms Jensen said council officers had issued 157 fines relating to dogs since April 10.

“Not all of these fines are from the inspection program and it is pleasing to see only a minority were not registering their pets,” she said.

“It is easier for our officers to find the owners of dogs that are found wandering the streets if the animal is registered and wearing the registration tag, as well as microchipped.”

Ms Jensen said prior to the program Council had approximately 4400 animals registered.

“However since the program began, there have been more than 500 registrations,” she said.

Ms Jensen said it also was important that pet owners ensured there was adequate fencing to keep their pet enclosed.

“A lot of people are starting to install electric containment fences and under the local law these are not considered adequate to keep dogs inside their yard,” she said.

“We have had a few instances where the batteries have failed or the dog has really wanted to get out and the electric shock failed to deter the animal.

“Residents need to ensure their fencing is adequate for the size of their dog.”

Council’s Chief  Executive Officer Ken Holt said Council was halfway through the inspection program.

“Our Customer Service Centre gets more calls about dogs than potholes or anything else,” he said.

“The silent majority of dog owners are doing the right thing and they are ringing here wanting us to do more about the dogs not being properly managed.”

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