The Act and Regulations
Dogs can be a great source of companionship and pleasure. However, dog ownership also involves responsibilities. Not only do you have responsibilities as an owner to make sure your dog is fed, cared for and exercised, but you also have responsibilities to your community in general to ensure that the dog is properly controlled and well behaved.
As a dog owner in South Australia you are required to:
- Register your dog with your local council (ideally you should also have it microchipped)
- Clean up after your dog - it is an offense under the Act not to do so - most councils provide plastic bags and bins
- Make sure your dog is not wandering off your property on to the streets and public places on its own
- Make sure your dog does not chase, harrass or attack a person or another animal
- Make sure your dog is not a nusiance, nusiance barking is one of the most common compaints received by councils
- Make sure your dog is restrained you are transporting it in the open tray of a ute.
The laws relating to dogs are contained in the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995.
The Dog and Cat Management Board has the principle function of overseeing the administration and enforcement of the Act and the Board works with councils and the community towards achieving a consistently high standard of management of dogs and cats in South Australia.
Who enforces the laws relating to dogs?
Local council appointed Animal Management Officers (AMO) handle all matters relating to dogs and have the power to:
Require a person to produce a dog, or any certificate or records issued under the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995, for inspection
- Require a person they suspect has committed or appears to be about to commit an offence to give their full name and address and produce identification
- Seize and detain dogs under certain circumstances.
AMOs may also enter and inspect any place or vehicle, on suspicion of an offence, and a warrant may be obtained if the owner denies permission.
It is an offence to hinder, obstruct, abuse or refuse to comply with a reasonable request of an AMO. AMOs may also cross council boundaries to carry out various duties under certain circumstances.
If a complaint is proven to be valid, the council may levy an expiation fee. If the offence is serious, the person responsible for the dog might be summoned to appear in court.
If you see a dog doing any of the following you should contact your local council immediately:
- Wandering on the streets with no owner in sight
- Attacking, harassing or chasing a person or animal
- Attacking a postman, meter reader or other person who lawfully enters a property
- Being in a school, kindergarten or child care centre without permission*
- Being in a shop without the owner’s permission
- Chasing a motor vehicle or bicycle
- Defecating in a public place, unless the person in control immediately removes and disposes of the faeces.
*The law is slightly different for Guide and Hearing Disability Dogs. For further information contact your council.
download Dog & Cat Management Act 1995
download Dog & Cat Management Regulations 1995
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