For many of us, pets are an important part of the family. However, if you do have a dog or cat, it's important you're aware of your responsibilities.
You may be fined or prosecuted if:
- your dog is found wandering outside your premises
- you encourage or cause your dog to attack, bite, worry or chase a person or another animal
- your dog or cat is a nuisance, or you fail to comply with a court notice ordering you to stop the cat or dog being a nuisance (this includes persistent barking)
- your dog or cat wanders onto private property without the owner’s permission on more than one occasion and a warning has been issued by Council
- you allow any part of the animal’s excrement to remain on any road, street, nature strip, reserve, public or Council land
- you don't take responsibility for damage your dog or cat causes.
Got a question about pet ownership? Check out our FAQs below.
Dogs bark for many reasons. If you're a dog owner, you need to make sure your dog isn't a nuisance to the people around you.
Reasons for barking
Even when dogs appear to be 'barking for no reason', they're usually trying to communicate something.
It's acceptable for your dog to bark to warn you of an intruder.
However, it's your responsibility to train your dog not to bark at everyday situations, like seeing a possum, cat or bird.
Find out more
There are things that you can do to stop a barking dog. To find out more, download our Barking dogs brochure (PDF, 801KB).
A dog may be declared dangerous if it attacks and seriously injures a person or another animal.
Many dog owners believe dogs are declared ‘dangerous’ due to their breed or size. This is not true.
There are rules for dogs declared ‘dangerous’, such as:
- special identification requirements
- warning signs on the property
- a muzzle to be used when off the owner’s premises.
Council has determined that any declared dangerous dog (involved in an attack) is not permitted in our community. Council will not register or renew the registration of a dangerous dog. As a result, the dog must be removed from the municipality.
Four breeds of dog are banned from being imported into Australia:
- Dogo Argentino
- Japanese Tosa
- Fila Brasileiro
- American Pit Bull Terrier, commonly called the Pit Bull Terrier.
Council has determined that these breeds are not permitted in our community.
If you bring a restricted breed dog into the area, we will not register the dog. This means it must be removed from the Towong municipal area.
All dogs, regardless of age, breed or temperament, can harm or injure animals or people – especially children and the elderly.
Attacks by dogs on people, other companion animals and livestock are largely preventable.
We've prepared a fact sheet (PDF, 391KB) to help dog owners and others understand how to prevent dogs attacks, and what to do if you experience one.
The Towong Shire Domestic Animal Management Plan sets out how we manage companion animals – namely dogs and cats.
Our role includes:
- promoting responsible pet ownership
- enforcing relevant legislation
- balancing the needs of pet owners with non-pet owners.
To find out more, download the Towong Shire Domestic Animal Management Plan.
Farm animals are very popular with owners of small properties. Whether you've got a goat to keep the grass down or your kids have talked you into getting a pet pig, there are laws you need to comply with if you own a farm animal.
Numbers of animals
The number of farm animals you can keep depends on the size of your property.
You must apply to Council for a permit if you wish to keep more than the number of animals allowed by our local laws.
Property Identification Codes
You'll need a Livestock Property Identification Code (PIC) if you want to own:
- cattle (cows)
- more than 100 poultry.
In the event of a serious livestock disease outbreak, PICs are used for tracing, controlling and eradicating the disease.
They're also linked to systems such as the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS). Commercial operators need a PIC to sell and move animals.
To find out more about PICs and get yours, visit the Agriculture Victoria website.
If you have pigs, there are a few things you need to know about feeding them:
- Feeding food scraps to pigs can be dangerous and is illegal.
- Feeding food waste to pigs, known as swill feeding, poses a huge risk for spreading devastating animal diseases into Australia. For example, swill feeding caused the devastating 2001 outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease.
- For the health of your pigs, it's best to have a planned diet. There are specific feeds available that are designed to meet the nutritional needs of pigs and keep them in the best condition.
A range of information on pig health and welfare information is available on the Agriculture Victoria website.