Criminal Legislations

Section 31 Companion Animals Act 1998 | Cat Being a Nuisance


Section 31 of the Companion Animals Act 1998 is Cat Being a Nuisance and is extracted below.

For expert advice and outstanding representation from Australia’s leading Companion Animals Act lawyers, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers today on (02) 9261 8881 and let our experienced defence lawyers help you.

The Legislation

31 Nuisance cats

(1) For the purposes of this section, a cat is a nuisance if the cat:
(a) makes a noise that persistently occurs or continues to such a degree or extent that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of any person in any other premises, or (b) repeatedly damages anything outside the property on which it is ordinarily kept.

(2) If an authorised officer of a council is satisfied that a cat is a nuisance, the officer may, after complying with section 31A, issue an order in the approved form to the owner of the cat requiring the owner to prevent the behaviour that is alleged to constitute the nuisance.

(3) The order must specify the behaviour of the cat that is required to be prevented. The order can specify more than one kind of behaviour.

(4) An order remains in force for 6 months after it is issued.

(5) The owner of a cat must comply with an order issued to the owner under this section and must continue to comply with it while it is in force. Maximum penalty: 3 penalty units for a first offence or 8 penalty units for a second or subsequent offence.

(6) A council whose authorised officer issues an order under this section must notify the Director-General within 7 days after the order is issued.

(7) An order under this section is final and is not subject to any appeal or review.

Section 30 Companion Animals Act 1998 | Having Prohibited Cat in Public Place


Section 30 of the Companion Animals Act 1998 is Having Prohibited Cat in Public Place and is extracted below.

For expert advice and outstanding representation from Australia’s leading Companion Animals Act lawyers, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers today on (02) 9261 8881 and let our experienced defence lawyers help you.

The Legislation

30 Cats prohibited in some public places

(1) Cats are prohibited in the following places:
(a) (meaning any public place, or part of a public place, that is within 10 metres of any apparatus provided in that public place or part for the preparation of food for human consumption or for the consumption of food by humans).
(b) (meaning any public place or any part of a public place set apart by the local authority for the protection of wildlife and in which the local authority ordered that cats are prohibited for the purposes of the protection of wildlife and in which, or near the boundaries of which, there are conspicuously exhibited by the local authority at reasonable intervals notices to the effect that cats are prohibited in or on that public place).

(2) If a cat is in a place in which cats are prohibited under this section:
(a) the owner of the cat, or
(b) if the owner is not present at the time of the offence and another person who is of or above the age of 16 years is in charge of the cat at that time–that other person, is guilty of an offence. Maximum penalty: 8 penalty units.

(3) Any person (including an authorised officer) may seize a cat that is in a place in which cats are prohibited under this section for the cat’s own protection.

(4) If the owner of the cat is present, an authorised officer (but no other person) may seize the cat (whether or not for the cat’s own protection), but only if the owner fails to remove the cat from the place when the officer directs the owner to do so. A reference in this subsection to the owner of the cat includes a reference to the person who is for the time being in charge of the cat. Removing the cat prevents the cat being impounded but it does not excuse the contravention and does not stop action being taken for the contravention.

(5) A cat is not prohibited under this section in a place that is a food preparation/consumption area if the place is a public thoroughfare (such as a road, footpath or pathway).

(6) A local authority is authorised to make the orders contemplated by this section.

Section 29 Companion Animals Act 1998 | Failing to Identify Cat


Section 29 of the Companion Animals Act 1998 is Failing to Identify Cat and is extracted below.

For expert advice and outstanding representation from Australia’s leading Companion Animals Act lawyers, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers today on (02) 9261 8881 and let our experienced defence lawyers help you.

The Legislation

29 Cats must have form of identification

(1) A cat must be identified by a form of identification that enables a local authority to ascertain the name of the cat and the address or telephone number of the owner of the cat.

(2) The identification may take any of the following forms:
(a) a collar worn around the cat’s neck with a tag or tags attached,
(b) a microchip,
(c) any other form of identification prescribed by the regulations.

(3) The owner of the cat is guilty of an offence if this section is not complied with. Maximum penalty: 8 penalty units.

(4) This section does not affect the operation of section 8.

(5) This section does not apply to:
(a) a cat on property of which the owner of the cat is the occupier, or
(b) a cat being exhibited for show purposes or proceeding immediately to or from a place at which it will be, or has been, exhibited for show purposes.

Section 21 Companion Animals Act 1998 | Dog Being a Nuisance


Section 21 of the Companion Animals Act 1998 is Dog Being a Nuisance and is extracted below.

For expert advice and outstanding representation from Australia’s leading Companion Animals Act lawyers, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers today on (02) 9261 8881 and let our experienced defence lawyers help you.

The Legislation

21 Nuisance dogs

(1) For the purposes of this section, a dog is a nuisance if the dog:
(a) is habitually at large, or
(b) makes a noise, by barking or otherwise, that persistently occurs or continues to such a degree or extent that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of any person in any other premises, or
(c) repeatedly defecates on property (other than a public place) outside the property on which it is ordinarily kept, or
(d) repeatedly runs at or chases any person, animal (other than vermin and, in relation to an animal, otherwise than in the course of droving, tending, working or protecting stock) or vehicle, or
(e) endangers the health of any person or animal (other than vermin and, in relation to an animal, otherwise than in the course of droving, tending, working or protecting stock), or
(f) repeatedly causes substantial damage to anything outside the property on which it is ordinarily kept.

(2) If an authorised officer of a council is satisfied that a dog is a nuisance, the officer may, after complying with section 21A, issue an order in the approved form to the owner of the dog requiring the owner to prevent the behaviour that is alleged to constitute the nuisance.

(3) The order must specify the behaviour of the dog that is required to be prevented. The order can specify more than one kind of behaviour.

(4) An order remains in force for 6 months after it is issued.

(5) The owner of a dog must comply with an order issued to the owner under this section and must continue to comply with it while it is in force. Maximum penalty: 8 penalty units for a first offence or 15 penalty units for a second or subsequent offence.

(6) A council whose authorised officer issues an order under this section must notify the Director-General within 7 days after the order is issued.

(7) An order under this section is final and is not subject to any appeal or review.

Section 20 Companion Animals Act 1998 | Dog Defecating in Public Place


Section 20 of the Companion Animals Act 1998 is Dog Defecating in Public Place and is extracted below.

For expert advice and outstanding representation from Australia’s leading Companion Animals Act lawyers, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers today on (02) 9261 8881 and let our experienced defence lawyers help you.

The Legislation

20 Dogs defecating in public place

(1) If a dog defecates in a public place:
(a) the owner of the dog, or
(b) if the owner is not present at the relevant time and another person who is of or above the age of 16 years is in charge of the dog at that time–that other person, must immediately remove the dog’s faeces and properly dispose of them. Maximum penalty: 8 penalty units.

(2) Proper disposal includes disposal in a rubbish receptacle designated for the purpose by the local authority. It is the duty of a local authority for a place that is commonly used for exercising dogs (including an off-leash area) to provide sufficient rubbish receptacles for the proper disposal of the faeces of dogs that defecate in the place.

(3) This section does not apply when the dog is an assistance animal being used bona fide by a person with a disability to assist the person and the person’s disability makes compliance by the person with this section not reasonably practicable.

Section 17 Companion Animals Act 1998 | Encouraging Dog to Attack


Section 17 of the Companion Animals Act 1998 is Encouraging Dog to Attack and is extracted below.

For expert advice and outstanding representation from Australia’s leading Companion Animals Act lawyers, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers today on (02) 9261 8881 and let our experienced defence lawyers help you.

The Legislation

17 Dog must not be encouraged to attack

(1) A person who sets on or urges a dog to attack, bite, harass or chase any person or animal (other than vermin) is guilty of an offence, whether or not actual injury is caused. Maximum penalty:
(a) 20 penalty units except in the case of a dangerous or restricted dog, or
(b) 100 penalty units or 6 months imprisonment, or both, in the case of a dangerous or restricted dog (except in the circumstances referred to in paragraph (c)), or
(c) 200 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 years, or both, in the case of a dangerous or restricted dog that has attacked or bitten a person.
If the dog is a dangerous dog or a restricted dog, conviction for an offence under this section results in permanent disqualification from owning a dog or from being in charge of a dog in a public place. See section 23.

(2) This section does not apply to something done by a person:
(a) in the reasonable defence of a person or property,
(b) in the proper performance of the person’s duties as a police officer or correctional officer (within the meaning of the Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act 1999),
(c) in the course of the use of a dog for the working of stock or the training of a dog in the working of stock,
(d) in the course of lawful hunting.

Section 16 Companion Animals Act 1998 | Dog Attack


Section 16 of the Companion Animals Act 1998 is Dog Attack and is extracted below.

It is the most common section used by Councils and Police to prosecute alleged dog attacks, bites and other aggressive behaviour.

It is important to note that your dog does not have to actually ‘attack’ for the offence to be established.

It is enough that your dog ‘rushes at’, ‘harasses’ or ‘chases’ any person or animal (other than vermin).

This makes the offence very broad and difficult to defend.

Prosecutions under section 16 are often accompanied by Dangerous Dog Declarations.

Dangerous Dog Declarations can be extremely onerous on you and your dog.

They require having your dog in an ‘approved enclosure’ at all times unless he or she is muzzled. Also, any breach of those obligations can have serious consequences for both you and your dog.

Our lawyers believe that dangerous dog obligations are inhumane.

We will use our expertise and vast experience in dangerous dog cases to convince the relevant Council not to go ahead with the dangerous dog declaration at all, or to agree to ‘Undertakings’ or ‘Control Orders’ instead; which may include a promise to always have your dog leashed when in public etc.

For expert advice and outstanding representation from Australia’s leading dangerous dog lawyers, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers today on (02) 9261 8881.

The Legislation

16 Offences where dog attacks person or animal

(1) If a dog rushes at, attacks, bites, harasses or chases any person or animal (other than vermin), whether or not any injury is caused to the person or animal:
(a) the owner of the dog, or
(b) if the owner is not present at the time of the offence and another person who is of or above the age of 16 years is in charge of the dog at that time–that other person, is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty:
(a) 50 penalty units except in the case of a dangerous or restricted dog, or
(b) 300 penalty units in the case of a dangerous or restricted dog.

(1A) The owner of a dangerous dog or a restricted dog is guilty of an offence if:
(a) the dog attacks or bites any person (whether or not any injury is caused to the person), and
(b) the incident occurs as a result of the owner’s failure to comply with any one or more of the requirements of section 51 or 56 (as the case requires) in relation to the dog. Maximum penalty: 500 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 years, or both. Conviction for an offence under this subsection results in permanent disqualification from owning a dog or from being in charge of a dog in a public place. See section 23.

(2) It is not an offence under this section if the incident occurred:
(a) as a result of the dog being teased, mistreated, attacked or otherwise provoked, or
(b) as a result of the person or animal trespassing on the property on which the dog was being kept, or
(c) as a result of the dog acting in reasonable defence of a person or property, or
(d) in the course of lawful hunting, or
(e) in the course of the working of stock by the dog or the training of the dog in the working of stock.

(3) This section does not apply to a police dog or a corrective services dog.

Section 15 Companion Animals Act 1998 | Greyhound etc Not Muzzled


Section 15 of the Companion Animals Act 1998 is Greyhound etc Not Muzzled and is extracted below.

For expert advice and outstanding representation from Australia’s leading Companion Animals Act lawyers, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers today on (02) 9261 8881 and let our experienced defence lawyers help you.

The Legislation

15 Greyhounds and other breeds to be muzzled

(1) A greyhound and any other dog to which this section applies must at all times have a muzzle securely fixed on its mouth in such a manner as will prevent it from biting any person or animal, except when the dog is:
(a) in or on any property or vehicle of which the owner of the dog is an occupier or where the dog is ordinarily kept, or
(b) under the effective control of some competent person and being exhibited for show purposes or participating in an obedience trial, or
(c) exempted from this section by the regulations.

(2) If this section is contravened:
(a) the owner of the greyhound or other dog, or
(b) if the owner is not present at the time of the offence and another person who is of or above the age of 16 years is in charge of the greyhound or other dog at that time–that other person,is guilty of an offence. Maximum penalty: 8 penalty units.

(3) The regulations may prescribe any breed, kind or description of dog as a breed, kind or description to which this section applies and a dog of that breed, kind or description is then a dog to which this section applies.

Section 14 Companion Animals Act 1998 | Having Prohibited Dog in Public Place


Section 14 of the Companion Animals Act 1998 is Having Prohibited Dog in Public Place and is extracted below.

For expert advice and outstanding representation from Australia’s leading Companion Animals Act lawyers, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers today on (02) 9261 8881 and let our experienced defence lawyers help you.

The Legislation

14 Dogs prohibited in some public places

(1) Dogs are prohibited in the following places (whether or not they are leashed or otherwise controlled):
(a) (meaning any public place, or part of a public place, that is within 10 metres of any playing apparatus provided in that public place or part for the use of children).
(b) (meaning any public place, or part of a public place, that is within 10 metres of any apparatus provided in that public place or part for the preparation of food for human consumption or for the consumption of food by humans).
(c) (meaning any public place, or part of a public place, provided or set apart by a local authority for public recreation or the playing of organised games and in which the local authority has ordered that dogs are prohibited and in which, or near the boundaries of which, there are conspicuously exhibited by the local authority at reasonable intervals notices to the effect that dogs are prohibited in or on that public place or part).
(d) (meaning any public place or any part of a public place that is used for or in conjunction with public bathing or public recreation (including a beach), in which the local authority has ordered that dogs are prohibited and in which, or near the boundaries of which, there are conspicuously exhibited by the local authority at reasonable intervals notices to the effect that dogs are prohibited in or on that public place).
(e) (meaning any property occupied or used for a purpose connected with the conduct of a government school or non- government school under the Education Act 1990, other than any property used for a residence or the curtilage of a residence).
(f) (meaning any property occupied or used for a purpose connected with the conduct of an approved education and care service within the meaning of the Children (Education and Care Services) National Law (NSW) or the Children (Education and Care Services) Supplementary Provisions Act 2011, other than any property used for a residence or the curtilage of a residence).
(g) (meaning a shopping arcade or shopping complex, including any part of it that is used by the public for parking or access to shops, in which or part of which the local authority has ordered that dogs are prohibited and in which, or near the boundaries of which, there are conspicuously exhibited by the local authority at reasonable intervals notices to the effect that dogs are prohibited there). This paragraph does not apply to any shop or part of a shop.
(h) (meaning any public place or any part of a public place set apart by the local authority for the protection of wildlife and in which the local authority has ordered that dogs are prohibited for the purposes of the protection of wildlife and in which, or near the boundaries of which, there are conspicuously exhibited by the local authority at reasonable intervals notices to the effect that dogs are prohibited in or on that public place).

(2) If a dog is in a place in which dogs are prohibited under this section:
(a) the owner of the dog, or
(b) if the owner is not present at the time of the offence and another person who is of or above the age of 16 years is in charge of the dog at that time–that other person, is guilty of an offence. Maximum penalty:
(a) 10 penalty units except in the case of a dangerous or restricted dog, or
(b) 100 penalty units in the case of a dangerous or restricted dog.

(3) Any person (including an authorised officer) can seize a dog that is in a place in which dogs are prohibited under this section. If the owner of the dog is present, the dog cannot be seized except by an authorised officer and only then if the owner fails to remove the dog from the place when the officer directs the owner to do so. A reference in this subsection to the owner of the dog includes a reference to the person who is for the time being in charge of the dog. Removing the dog prevents the dog being impounded but it does not excuse the contravention and does not stop action being taken for the contravention.

(4) A dog is not prohibited under this section in a place that is a food preparation/consumption area if the place is a public thoroughfare (such as a road, footpath or pathway).

(5) A dog is not prohibited under this section in a school ground or child care centre if it is there with the permission of the person controlling the school ground or child care centre.

(6) A dog is not prohibited under this section in a place within a shopping area if it is there:
(a) in a vehicle that is secured in such a way as to prevent the dog from escaping from it, or
(b) with the permission of the person controlling the place, or
(c) for the purpose of being taken to or from a pet shop, the premises of a veterinary practitioner or a similar establishment.

(7) A local authority is authorised to make the orders contemplated by this section.

(8) This section does not apply to the following dogs:
(a) a police dog,
(b) a dog that is an assistance animal being used bona fide by a person with a disability to assist the person,
(c) a corrective services dog.

However, the above section should be read in conjunction with section 14A which states:

14A Dogs not prohibited in outdoor dining areas in certain circumstances

(1) The relevant legal restrictions do not prohibit a dog (other than a dangerous or restricted dog) from being in an outdoor dining area if:
(a) the dog is under the effective control of some competent person and is restrained by means of an adequate chain, cord or leash that is attached to the dog, and
(b) the person does not feed the dog or permit the dog to be fed, and
(c) the dog is kept on the ground.

(2) However, if the outdoor dining area is within a public place declared by a local authority to be an off-leash area:
(a) it is not necessary for the dog to be restrained by means of a chain, cord or leash, and
(b) the dog can be fed while the dog is on the ground, but not using any apparatus provided for the consumption of food by humans, and
(c) the dog can sit on a person’s lap, but must not be allowed to sit on any table or chairs or make contact with other apparatus provided for the consumption of food by humans.

(3) This section does not confer any entitlement on a person accompanied by a dog to use any table and chairs or other apparatus provided in an outdoor dining area by a food business (within the meaning of the Food Act 2003) without the permission of the operator of the food business.

(4) The “relevant legal restrictions” are:
(a) section 14 (1) (b), and
(b) the Food Act 2003 and the Food Standards Code (within the meaning of that Act).

(5) An “outdoor dining area” is an area that:
(a) is used for the consumption of food by humans, and
(b) is not enclosed, and
(c) can be entered by the public without passing through an enclosed area in which dogs are prohibited by this Act or the other relevant legal restrictions,
but does not include any part of an area that is used for the preparation of food.

(6) An area is enclosed if, except for doorways and passageways, the area is substantially or completely enclosed, whether permanently or temporarily, by:
(a) a ceiling or roof, and
(b) walls or windows (or both).

Section 13 Companion Animals Act 1998 | Failing to Have Dog Under Effective Control


Section 13 of the Companion Animals Act 1998 is Failing to Have Dog Under Effective Control and is extracted below.

For expert advice and outstanding representation from Australia’s leading Companion Animals Act lawyers, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers today on (02) 9261 8881 and let our experienced defence lawyers help you.

The Legislation

13 Responsibilities while dog in public place

(1) A dog that is in a public place must be under the effective control of some competent person by means of an adequate chain, cord or leash that is attached to the dog and that is being held by (or secured to) the person.
(2) If this section is contravened:
(a) the owner of the dog, or
(b) if the owner is not present at the time of the offence and another person who is of or above the age of 16 years is in charge of the dog at that time–that other person, is guilty of an offence. Maximum penalty:
(a) 10 penalty units except in the case of a dangerous or restricted dog, or
(b) 100 penalty units in the case of a dangerous or restricted dog.
(3) Any person (including an authorised officer) can seize a dog that is in a public place in contravention of this section. If the owner of the dog is present, the dog cannot be seized except by an authorised officer and only then if the contravention continues after the owner has been told of the contravention. A reference in this subsection to the owner of the dog includes a reference to the person who is for the time being in charge of the dog. Putting the dog on a leash prevents the dog being seized but it does not excuse the contravention and does not stop action being taken for the contravention.
(4) A dog is not considered to be under the effective control of a person if the person has more than 4 dogs under his or her control.
(5) This section does not apply to:
(a) a dog accompanied by some competent person in an area declared to be an off-leash area by a declaration under this section (but only if the total number of dogs that the person is accompanied by or has control of does not exceed 4), or
(b) a dog engaged in the droving, tending or working of stock, or
(c) a dog being exhibited for show purposes, or
(d) a dog participating in an obedience class, trial or exhibition, or
(e) a police dog, or
(e1) a corrective services dog, or
(f) a dog secured in a cage or vehicle or tethered to a fixed object or structure.
Just because a dog is not on a lead in an off-leash area, or is secured in a cage or vehicle or is tethered to a fixed object or structure, does not mean that an offence under section 16 is not committed if the dog rushes at, attacks, bites, harasses or chases any person or animal, whether or not any injury is caused.
(6) A local authority can by order declare a public place to be an off-leash area. Such a declaration can be limited so as to apply during a particular period or periods of the day or to different periods of different days. However, there must at all times be at least one public place in the area of a local authority that is an off-leash area.