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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Dog control

Dog Control Act 2000

The Director of Local Government is responsible for administering dog control laws in Tasmania.

The Dog Control Act 2000 (the Act) provides the legislative framework for the management of dogs in Tasmania. The Act sets out the responsibilities of dog owners for controlling their dogs and assists general managers of councils to manage the ownership and control of dogs in their council area and enforce the provisions of the Act.

Councils perform a range of functions for the management and responsible keeping of domestic pets in their municipality, using these laws.

All other laws about animal control, including cats, are administered by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.

This information is provided as a brief guide to the main requirements of the dog control legislation.  Dog owners, or persons in charge of dogs, should not rely on this information as a complete description of their rights and responsibilities under the legislation.

If you have any questions about dog control or ownership in your municipality, contact your council. Contact details for councils is provided in the Tasmanian council directory.

Find out more about:

Dog Control Amendment Act 2019

The Tasmanian Parliament passed the Dog Control Amendment Act 2019 (the Act) on 28 November 2019.

The Act amends the Dog Control Act 2000 to include a new offence for where a dog attacks sensitive wildlife, such as Little Penguins. Penalties have been increased where a dog causes serious injury to a person, and where a dog is found in a prohibited area containing sensitive habitat for wildlife.

The Act also allows Councils the option of providing areas for the off-leash exercise of greyhounds. Councils will have discretion in providing for, and setting conditions around, any greyhound exercise areas, in consultation with their local communities.

The Dog Control Amendment Act 2019 Information Sheet contains further details on these and other amendments.

Submissions

Submissions for the Dog Control Amendment Bill 2019 are available to view and download on the submissions page.

42 submissions were received from individuals and organisations with two submissions provided on a confidential basis.

Dog Control Amendment Act 2017

The Dog Control Amendment Act 2017 came into effect on 20 December 2017. The key changes included:

  • allowing greyhounds that have graduated from an approved suitability assessment program to go without a muzzle while on a lead in a public place
  • allowing councils to declare areas of council controlled land from which dogs are restricted permanently
  • clarifying that commercial dog minding services require kennel licences
  • requiring a dog owner to inform a council of their dog’s microchip number
  • providing for a mandatory requirement that a dog owner is to inform the relevant council when a dangerous dog is transferred to its municipal area
  • extending the time required to respond to a destruction of a dangerous dog notice from 14 to 28 days in line with the Magistrates Court (Administrative Appeals Division) Act 2001
  • clarifying the Act to allow councils to seize and/or destroy a dog
  • clarifying the effective control requirements for greyhounds, dangerous and restricted breed dogs, and all other dogs
  • providing clarity that persons carrying out primary production activities relating to livestock on rural land can destroy any dog found at large on that land

Resources and related information

Other Laws related to dogs

There are other Tasmanian laws related to dogs which are not administered by the Director of Local Government. These include:

More information about these laws is provided on the dog control FAQs page.

More information

For further information regarding the Dog Control Act 2000 contact the Local Government Division:

  • phone 03 6232 7022