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


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

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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.

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