CRACKDOWN: Lethal new laws to stop bad animals
BARKING dogs and runaway pets could face severe consequences as the Southern Downs Regional Council brings in new laws to 'remove' animals in the face of staggering compliance notice statistics.
The council moved to amend animal management laws allowing it to issue 'removal notices' to pet and animal owners who had not adhered to a compliance notice.
A removal notice may require the owner or council staff to destroy or permanently remove the animal from a specified area.
Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie said removal notices were a necessary last resort allowing council to enforce animal management laws.
"If council is going to have laws (around animal management) there needs to be an outcome at the end of it,” Cr Dobie said.
"Giving someone a compliance notice and people not complying doesn't achieve anything.”
Figures provided by the council show it issued approximately 18 animal compliance notices per week in 2017, a figure adding up to 936 per year.
The most common reasons for compliance notices included straying dogs, unregistered dogs, failure to provide a suitable enclosure, barking complaints and an excess number of dogs being kept on a property.
On average, 25 compliance notices per year are issued for dangerous or aggressive dogs.
While most compliances notices were issued for dogs, there were also cases of wandering cattle and 'excessive' numbers of cats.
Cr Dobie said animals that were 'removed' would be impounded, re-homed and in some cases euthanased.
"We appreciate in some cases an animal is a livelihood and in some cases a best friend,” Cr Dobie said.
While the new law may sound severe to some, submissions to the draft law revealed support for the adoption of removal notices.
Those opposing the law raised concerns that groundless complaints by neighbours could cause much-loved pets to be taken from owners.