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If a dog has caused a serious injury to a person or animal the council can declare the dog to be a dangerous dog. This is to protect people and animals from an attack.
However, if the council believes that a dog is likely to cause serious injury to a person or another animal, it does not have to wait for an attack or serious injury to occur and may declare the dog to be a dangerous dog.
Once a dog is declared as dangerous, stronger control provisions must be met, such as wearing a muzzle.
When a dangerous dog is in a public place, the owner or person in charge must ensure the dog is
When a dangerous dog is not under the control of a person, it must be kept in an enclosure that meets certain rules. These rules are written in the Dog Control Regulations 2010.
The enclosure must be a full enclosure, be childproof and also
If the walls, roof or gate of the enclosure are made of mesh, that mesh must be chain mesh of at least 3.15 mm gauge with a maximum spacing of 50 mm, or weldmesh of at least 4 mm gauge with a maximum spacing of 50 mm.
Approved dangerous dog warning signs need to be put up at all the entrances to the place where the dog usually lives.
These signs are approved by the Director of Local Government and must be specific colours, size and made of metal. Contact your council to find out where to get the signs from.
If a dog is declared dangerous, the council can ask the owner to build an approved enclosure within 28 days.
If the enclosure is not built in time, the council may
If an approved enclosure is never finished the council may destroy the dog. The council may also ask the owner to repay them for keeping and destroying the dog.
Yes, dangerous dogs must be de-sexed and microchipped at the owner’s cost within 28 days of a dangerous dog notice from the council.
A dangerous dog that is not de-sexed and microchipped may be seized and held in a pound by the council.
The microchip is not to be removed from the dog without approval from the council.
If a dangerous dog attacks a person or animal again, the owner will be guilty of an offence and can be fined and/or go to prison for up to 12 months.
The owner may also be banned from owning or being in charge of any dog for 5 years. Breaking a 5 year ban can lead to another fine.
You must apply to your council if you want to become the owner of a dangerous dog.
A dangerous dog may only be sold or given away after the future owner has been given approval from the council.
Once the council has approved the transfer or sale of a dangerous dog, the seller must tell their council within 24 hours of the transfer or sale.
If a dangerous dog goes missing, strays, dies or is lost the owner must tell the council as soon as possible.
It is against the Animal Welfare Act 1993 to abandon an animal and owners can be fined up to $16,300 and/or sent to prison for up to 12 months (fine as at 2018).
For more information contact your council. Contact details for councils is provided in the Tasmanian council directory.