Domestic animal management plans

All councils in Victoria have developed a domestic animal management plan which is renewed every 4 years.

Council officer holding dog

Legislation

Under the provisions of the Domestic Animals Act 1994 (the Act) all councils in Victoria have developed a domestic animal management plan which is renewed every 4 years.

This plan outlines the council's:

  • services
  • programs and policies established to address the administration of the Act
  • management of dog and cat issues in their community.

Finding your Council's plan

The Local Government Act 1989 requires a councils in Victoria to maintain a website that lists its public notices and documents, including their domestic animal management plan.

Find your local council's website and contact details.

Council responsibilities

Councils are responsible for developing a domestic animal management plan which:

  • promotes responsible pet ownership and the welfare of dogs and cats in the community
  • protects the community and the environment from nuisance dogs and cats
  • identifies a method to evaluate whether the animal management services provided by them are adequate
  • outlines the training programs for their Authorised Officers to ensure these Officers are capable in administering and enforcing the provisions of the Act.

The plan provides information on the daily operation of the Council, the current programs Council has in place and the policies the Council has adopted for the following standards of animal management to:

  • promote and encourage the responsible ownership of dogs and cats
  • ensure that people comply with this Act, the regulations and any related legislation
  • minimise the risk of attacks by dogs on people and animals
  • address any over-population and high euthanasia rates for dogs and cats
  • encourage the registration and identification of dogs and cats
  • minimise the potential for dogs and cats to create a nuisance
  • effectively identify all dangerous dogs, menacing dogs and restricted breed dogs in that district and to ensure that those dogs are kept in compliance with the Act and the Regulations.

The plan identifies the current local laws and Orders made under the Act and reviews them for effectiveness.

The council must identify any other specific animal management issues within their local area.

Council reviews the plan annually and publishes an evaluation of the implementation of their plan in the Council's annual report.

The plan, including new initiatives, is required to be fully reviewed every 4 years.

Feedback on the plan

Once a resident has become familiar with their Council's domestic animal management plan, they can provide feedback to council on:

  • animal management services
  • programs or strategies
  • new Orders that could be made to address responsible pet ownership in the community
  • concerns associated with current council policies on animal management.
Page last updated: 26 May 2021