Section 51 Companion Animals Act 1998 | Control Requirements for Dangerous Dogs


Section 51 of the Companion Animals Act 1998 is Control Requirements for Dangerous Dogs and is extracted below.

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The Legislation

51 Owner of dangerous dog must comply with control requirements

(1) The owner of a dog that is declared to be dangerous under this Act must ensure that each of the following requirements is complied with while the declaration is in force:
(a) The dog must be desexed (if it is not already desexed) within 28 days after it is declared a dangerous dog. If the owner appeals against the declaration, the operation of this paragraph is stayed until the appeal is either withdrawn or determined.
(b) The dog must not at any time be in the sole charge of a person under the age of 18 years.
(c) While the dog is on property on which the dog is ordinarily kept, the dog must be kept in an enclosure that complies with the requirements prescribed by the regulations. The owner has 3 months from the date on which the dog is declared dangerous to comply. In the case of an existing dangerous dog, the owner has 6 months from the relevant date to comply. A certificate of compliance in relation to the prescribed enclosure must be obtained by the owner of the dog–see section 58H.
(c1) Until such time as the requirement under paragraph (c) is complied with, the dog must, while on property on which it is ordinarily kept, be kept in an enclosure that is sufficient to restrain the dog and prevent a child from having access to the dog.
(d) One or more signs must be displayed on that property showing the words “Warning Dangerous Dog” in letters clearly visible from the boundaries of the property on which the dog is ordinarily kept or, if the regulations provide for the signs required by this paragraph, complying with the regulations.
(d1) The dog must at all times wear a collar of the kind prescribed by the regulations.
(e) Whenever the dog is outside its enclosure, the dog:
(i) 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, and
(ii) must be muzzled in a manner that is sufficient to prevent it from biting any person or animal.
For the purposes of this paragraph, a dog is not considered to be under the effective control of a person if the person has more than 2 dogs (one of which is the dangerous dog) under his or her control at the one time.
(f)-(h) (Repealed)
(i) The owner must notify the council of the area in which the dog is ordinarily kept of the following matters within the time specified in relation to each of those matters:
(i) that the dog (with or without provocation) has attacked or injured a person or an animal (other than vermin)–notice to be given within 24 hours after the attack or injury,
(ii) that the dog cannot be found–notice to be given within 24 hours after the dog’s absence is first noticed,
(iii) that the dog has died–notice to be given as soon as practicable after the death,
(iv) (Repealed)
(v) that the dog is no longer being ordinarily kept in the area of the council–notice to be given as soon as practicable after the change of location,
(vi) that the dog is being ordinarily kept at a different location in the area of the council–notice to be given as soon as practicable after the change of location.
(j) If the owner intends to keep the dog in the area of a council that is not the area in which the dog was ordinarily kept when the declaration was made, the owner must notify the council of the area in which the dog is intended to be ordinarily kept of his or her intention to do so.
(k) The dog must, regardless of its age, be registered under this Act (if not already so registered) within 7 days after it is declared a dangerous dog.

Section 11 also requires the owner of a dog to notify the Director-General within 7 days after a Court declares the dog a dangerous dog or revokes the declaration. If the order is made or revoked by a council, the council is required to notify the Director-General (see section 40).

(2) An owner of a dog who does not comply with any of the requirements of this section is guilty of an offence. Maximum penalty: 150 penalty units.

(3) Exemption from being on lead and muzzled while hunting In the case of a dog that has been declared dangerous on the ground that it is kept or used for the purposes of hunting, the requirements imposed under subsection (1) (e) do not apply while the dog is actually engaged in lawful hunting.

(4) The requirements imposed under this section on the owner of a dangerous dog are additional to the other requirements of this Act imposed on the owner of a dog.

(5) In subsection (1) (c):”existing dangerous dog” means a dog that is the subject of a declaration by a council or court under this Part and in force immediately before the relevant date.”relevant date” means the date on which this subsection (as inserted by the Companion Animals Amendment Act 2005) commences.

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