Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Cats and dogs in public places: survey

Posted on 1 July, 2020 by Ivan

Mount Alexander Shire Council is currently asking the community to complete a survey on a proposed Order of Council for the Control of Dogs and Cats in public spaces. We have been asked to assist with distributing the survey to our audience, so they can get the best data on what the community wants from this proposal. The council aims to develop sensible controls for how dogs and cats are managed within our Shire, under a new Order of Council.

The proposed Order of Council will provide dog and cat owners with a clear understanding of when their pet needs to be placed under effective control. It will also consider the differences between urban and rural parts of the Shire by allowing for variations in less densely populated areas. Following a strong push from the community, a number of local councils are also introducing cat curfews and other initiatives to limit prowling and reduce the number of native animals they kill.

The ABC recently published a news article that summarised research on the shocking impact of feral and pet cats killing billions of animals each year.

Mount Alexander Shire Council provided the following information about the survey.

Cats can be a man’s best friend, but also a wildlife disaster if let to roam free (photo: Brisbane City Council)

Why is Council doing this now?

Experience tells us that the community’s general expectation is that there should be some restrictions placed on dog owners in how they allow their pets to interact with other members of the public. Following a strong push from the community, a number of Councils are also introducing cat curfews and other initiatives to limit prowling and reduce the number of native animals and birds they kill.

Within the community there are those who like dogs and those who do not. Similar feelings apply to cats. Council’s responsibility is to develop laws that balance community views and do not unreasonably favour or disadvantage an individual or group.

The proposed Order of Council would support Council’s broader objective of increasing responsible pet ownership by taking a proactive approach to the task of controlling dogs and cats in public places. What these controls look like, and how they operate, will be informed by community feedback.

Council is currently undertaking a review of the control of dogs and cats in a public place and has developed a survey to help review this process.

Next steps

Council will review all submissions from community members and use the feedback to inform a new Order of Council. The new Order will be presented to Council for consideration at a public meeting later in 2020.

If the Order is adopted by Council, it will become effective once it is published in the Government Gazette and locally circulating newspaper. When that occurs, Council will also undertake a community-wide education process to ensure our residents and visitors are familiar with the new regulations relating to dogs and cats in public places.

If you’d like any further information about this process; if you need assistance to complete the survey; or if you’d like more information on how an Order of Council would work, please contact Mr Jeffry Amy, Coordinator Community Safety and Amenity, on 5471 1700.

Please click here to complete the survey. 

We would greatly appreciate your feedback and please feel free to distribute this to any colleagues or members so that they can have a chance to develop controls which best suit our community. There are no trick questions or wrong answers just select any of the options that you think should be included. All Mount Alexander Shire residents are encouraged to have their say. I have attached an electronic copy should anyone prefer this over the survey.

Jeffry Amy  |  Coordinator Community Safety and Amenity Mount Alexander Shire Council
(03) 5471 1764  |  0429 599 249  |
Civic Centre  |  Corner Lyttleton and Lloyd Streets  |  PO Box 185  |  Castlemaine Victoria 3450


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