Companion Animals Act 1998 No 87

Currency

As amended to Companion Animals and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2018 (No 27). Sch 1[6], [11], [16] and [18] commenced 1 July 2019. Current to 1 July 2019.

Jurisdiction

Section 93(1): Proceedings for an offence under this Act may be dealt with:

(a) 

summarily before the Local Court, or

(b) 

summarily before the Supreme Court in its summary jurisdiction.

Section 93(1A): An offence under ss 16(1AB) or (1A) or 17(1A) may only be prosecuted on indictment, however may be dealt with summarily by the Local Court under CPA Ch 5.

Section 93(2): If proceedings are brought in the Local Court, the maximum monetary penalty that the Local Court may impose for the offence is 200 pu, despite any higher maximum monetary penalty provided in respect of the offence.

Appeal against Council’s declaration that dog dangerous: Under Pt 5 of the Act, an authorised officer of a council may declare a dog dangerous: s 34. The consequences of such a declaration are that the owner must ensure that at all times when the dog is away from the premises at which it is ordinarily kept:

(a) 

it is under the effective control of some competent person by means of an adequate chain, cord or leash, and

(b) 

it has a muzzle securely fixed on its mouth in such a manner as will prevent it from biting any person or animal: s 36.

Under s 41, an owner may appeal to the Local Court within 28 days of being notified of the council’s declaration that the dog is dangerous or the refusal to revoke such a declaration. The Local Court may determine an appeal by confirming the council’s decision or by revoking the declaration.

Local Court’s power to declare dog dangerous/menacing: In any proceedings under the Act before the Local Court (other than an appeal against a declaration by a council that a dog is dangerous or against a refusal by a council to revoke such a declaration), the court may declare a dog to be dangerous/menacing: s 44(1). The Local Court can declare a dog to be dangerous only if it is satisfied that:

(a) 

the dog has, without provocation, attacked or killed a person or an animal (other than vermin), or

(b) 

the dog has, without provocation, repeatedly threatened to attack or repeatedly chased a person or an animal (other than vermin), or

(c) 

is kept or used for the purposes of hunting: s 33.

Under s 33A a dog is menacing if it has displayed unreasonable aggression towards a person or animal (other than vermin), or has, without provocation, attacked a person or animal (other than vermin) but without causing serious injury or death.

Revocation of Local Court declaration: The Local Court can revoke a declaration made by a court under this Div on the application of the owner of the dog concerned if the court is satisfied that it is appropriate to do so in the circumstances: s 46.

Control orders: A court can make a control order:

(a) 

in proceedings for an offence under ss 16, 17, 49, 51 or 56 of this Act, or under s 35A of the Crimes Act 1900,

(b) 

on an appeal under this Act against the declaration by an authorised officer of a council that a dog is dangerous or against a council’s refusal to revoke such a declaration,

(c) 

on the court declaring the dog to be dangerous/menancing under Div 2: s 47(2).

A control order is an order of a court that the owner of a dog take such action (other than destroying the dog) within the period specified in the order as the court thinks necessary to prevent, or reduce the likelihood of, the dog attacking or causing injury to persons or animals: s 47(1). The action that a control order can require the owner of a dog to take includes:

(a) 

the desexing of the dog,

(b) 

the behavioural or socialisation training of the dog,

(c) 

training that is associated with responsible pet ownership: s 47(3).

Destruction orders: A destruction order is an order of a court that the owner of a dog destroy the dog or cause the dog to be destroyed, or that a dog be destroyed by some person authorised by the court, within the period specified in the order: s 48(1).

A court can make a destruction order:

(a) 

on conviction of the owner of the dog of an offence under s 35A of the Crimes Act, or under ss 16, 17, 49, 51 or 56 of this Act,

(b) 

on confirming the declaration by an authorised officer of a council that a dog is dangerous or a council’s refusal to revoke such a declaration: s 48(2).

A court must not make a destruction order unless it is satisfied that the making of a control order, or an order permanently removing the dog from its owner (which the court is, by this subsection, authorised to make), will not be sufficient to protect the public from any threat posed by the dog: s 48(3).

Note:

Section 48(3A) Except in exceptional circumstances, a court must make a destruction order on conviction of an owner of an offence involving serious injury or death of a person caused by the dog.

Ancillary orders to enable destruction order to be carried out — s 50(1): A court may, if it makes a destruction order that a dog be destroyed by some person authorised by the court, require the owner of the dog to take, within such period as is specified in the destruction order, such action as is, in the opinion of the court, necessary to enable the destruction order to be carried out.

The court may also make an order for the payment of any costs incurred in destroying the dog: s 50(2).

Permanent disqualification from owning/ being in charge of a dog in a public place: Persons convicted of offences under ss 16(1A), (1AB), 17 (if the dog is a dangerous/restricted/menacing dog), or s 35A of the Crimes Act are permanently disqualified from owning/ being in charge of a dog: s 23(1).

Court convicting person of offence may disqualify person from owning/ being in charge of dog for specified period

Section 23(2): A court that convicts a person of an offence under any of the following provisions can order that the person is disqualified from owning/ being in charge of a dog in a public place for a specified period:

(a) 

s 15 — greyhounds and other breeds to be muzzled,

(b) 

s 16(1), or (1AA)

(c) 

s 17 — dog must not be encouraged to attack, except where the dog concerned was a dangerous/menacing/restricted dog at the time of the offence,

(d) 

s 36 — obligations of owner when notified of proposed dangerous/menancing dog declaration,

(e) 

s 49 — failure to comply with destruction or control order,

(f) 

s 51 — owner of dangerous/menacing dog must comply with control requirements,

(g) 

s 56 — owner of restricted dog must comply with control requirements,

(h) 

any other provision prescribed by the regulations as a provision to which this subsection applies.

Section 23(3): A court that convicts a person of more than one offence under any of the following provisions during any 5 yr period can, on the second or subsequent conviction during that period, order that the person is disqualified from owning a dog, or from being in charge of a dog in a public place, for a specified period:

(a) 

s 32A — nuisance dogs,

(b) 

any other provision prescribed by the regulations as a provision to which this subsection applies.

Section 23(4): The maximum period of disqualification that a court can order under this section is 5 yrs. An order under this section is in addition to any penalty that the court can impose for an offence.

Section 23(5): The making of an order by a court under s 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 in respect of a person charged with an offence is to be treated for the purposes of this section as a conviction of the person for the offence.

Defence

Section 7(6): It is a defence to a prosecution if it is established that another owner of the animal has been convicted of an offence arising out of the same circumstances or the commission by another owner of the animal of an offence arising out of the same circumstances has been proved but a court has made an order under s 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act.

Note:

Where applicable the maximum penalty for an offence dealt with summarily before the Supreme Court is indicated in square brackets in the Penalty (Max) column.

SECTION DESCRIPTION PENALTY (MAX) TABLE
8(3) Fail to permanently identify animal from 12 weeks old Dangerous/menacing/ restricted dog 50 pu; Other 8 pu    
8(4) Sell animal not permanently identified Dangerous/menacing/ restricted dog 50 pu; Other 8 pu    
9(1) Animal not registered from 6 mths Dangerous/menacing/ restricted dog 1st off: 60 pu,
2nd and subsequent off: 70 pu;
Other 1st off: 50 pu,
2nd and subsequent off: 60 pu
   
10 Particular class or description of companion animals not registered Dangerous/menacing/ restricted dog 1st off: 60 pu,
2nd and subsequent off: 70 pu;
Other 1st off: 50 pu,
2nd and subsequent off: 60 pu
   
10B(2) Owner not comply with council notice requiring registration of animal within 14 days Dangerous/menacing/ restricted dog 1st off: 60 pu,
2nd and subsequent off: 70 pu;
Other 1st off: 50 pu,
2nd and subsequent off: 60 pu
   
11(1) Owner not notify certain changes and events
relating to identified companion animal
Dangerous/menacing/ restricted dog 50 pu; Other 8 pu    
11(4) Give false or misleading statement/information in notification under (1) 8 pu    
11B(2) Owner not obtain permit for cat that is not desexed 50 pu    
11C(2) Owner not obtain permit for dangerous dog 60 pu    
11D(2) Owner not obtain permit for restricted dog 60 pu    
11E(2)(a) Owner not complying with notice from council to obtain permit for cat 50 pu    
11E(2)(b) Owner not complying with notice from council to obtain permit for dangerous or restricted dog 60 pu    
11K(4) Fail to comply with condition of permit 20 pu    
12(2) Dog not wearing collar and tag Dangerous/menacing/ restricted dog 50 pu; Other 8 pu    
12A(1) Fail to prevent dog from escaping Dangerous/menacing/ restricted dog 50 pu; Other 8 pu    
13(2) Fail to maintain control of dog in a public place Dangerous/menacing/ restricted dog 100 pu; Other 10 pu    
14(2) Permit dog to be in a prohibited place Dangerous/menacing/ restricted dog 100 pu; Other 10 pu    
15(2) Fail to muzzle greyhound or other breeds 8 pu    
16(1) Owner liable for dog attacks Dangerous/menacing/ restricted dog 200 pu*;
[400 pu]
Other 100 pu
   
16(1AA) Own dog, or, if owner not present, be in charge of dog that rushes at, attacks, bites, harasses or chases a person or animal as a result of a reckless act or omission. 200 pu and/or 2 yrs    
16(1AB)

Own or be in charge of a dangerous/menacing/restricted dog that rushes at, attacks, bites, harasses or chases a person or animal as a result of a reckless act or omission.

Note:

Person who commits offence under s 16(1AB) is perm disq from owning dog or from being in charge of a dog in a public place if dog is dangerous/menacing/restricted dog.

200 pu* and/or 2 yrs
[500 pu and/or 4 yrs]

 

2

16(1A)

Own attacking dangerous/menancing/restricted dog when not complying with control requirements of ss 51 or 56 (as the case requires)

Note:

Person who commits offence under s 16(1A) is perm disq from owning dog or from being in charge of a dog in a public place.

200 pu* and/or 2 yrs
[700 pu and/or 5 yrs]
  2
17(1)

Owner encourage dog to attack

Note:

Person who commits offence under s 17 is perm disq from owning dog or from being in charge of a dog in a public place if dog dangerous/menacing/restricted dog

200 pu    
17(1A) Owner encourage dangerous/menacing/restricted dog to attack
Note:

Person who commits offence under s 17 is perm disq from owning dog or from being in charge of a dog in a public place if dog dangerous/menacing/restricted dog

200 pu* and/or 2 yrs
[700 pu and /or 5 yrs]
  2
20(1) Owner fail to remove and properly dispose of dog faeces 8 pu    
23(6) Dog owner contravening disqualification or order Dangerous/menacing/ restricted dog 100 pu;
Other 10 pu
   
29(3) Cat owner fail to comply with identity requirements 8 pu    
30(2) Permit cat to be in prohibited place 8 pu    
31(5) Fail to comply with order re nuisance cat 3 pu;
2nd off 8 pu
   
32A Fail to comply with order re nuisance dog 8 pu;
2nd off 15 pu
   
36(1)

Fail to comply with obligations when notified of proposed dangerous dog declaration

50 pu    
49 Fail to comply with destruction or control order 100 pu    
50(3) Dog owner fail to comply with ancillary destruction orders 100 pu    
51(2) Dog owner fail to comply with control requirements for dangerous dog 150 pu    
52A(1) Sell/advertise for sale dangerous/proposed dangerous/menacing dog 150 pu    
52B(1) Accept ownership of dangerous/proposed dangerous/menacing dog 150 pu    
56(2) Dog owner fail to comply with control requirements for restricted dog 150 pu    
57A(1) Sell/advertise for sale dog restricted/proposed for restriction 150 pu    
57B(1) Accept ownership dog restricted/proposed restricted 150 pu    
57C Person permit breeding, or advertise availability for breeding, of dog restricted/proposed restricted 150 pu    
58B(1) Dog owner fail to comply with obligations when notified of proposed
restricted dog declaration
50 pu    
58H(1) Fail to have certificate of compliance for ownership of dangerous/restricted dog 100 pu    
60(1) Assistance animal denied entry to public transport, building or place 15 pu    
61(1) Impose charge for entry of assistance animal 15 pu    
62 Fail to return seized animal to owner or pound as soon as possible 30 pu    
68(1) Unlawful rescue/attempted rescue of seized animal 5 pu    
69G(2) Fail to provide name/address to authorised officer 15 pu    
69H Wilfully obstructed authorised officer 15 pu    
71(4) Knowingly give false or misleading information in registration application 8 pu    
76(1) Interfere with permanent identification of animal 15 pu    
89(2) Access, attempt to access, allow access, make record of etc information
which is not suppressed
25 pu    
89(2) Access, attempt to access, allow access, make record of etc information
which is suppressed
100 pu    
94 No double jeopardy    
95 Fees and charges may be reduced or waived    
96(3) Regulations may create offences 50 pu    
*

Maximum penalty in the Local Court: s 93(2).