May 15, 2019
The cost of Council’s upcoming dog blitz in the South Burnett will be paid for by the fines and registration fees it recovers.
At Wednesday’s monthly general meeting Councillors approved this year’s inspection program, which will start on Monday, June 10, and conclude on Friday, November 29.
Inspectors will be going house to house across the region between 9:00am and 5:00pm on weekdays and/or Saturdays, searching for unregistered dogs.
The inspections will start with properties that have outstanding dog registrations before fanning out.
Under the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008, the owners of all dogs over the age of 12 weeks are required to register their animals with Council.
Annual registration fees for dogs kept in South Burnett town areas range from $15.00 for pensioners with desexed, microchipped dogs up to $155.00 for entire dogs.
Dogs in rural areas can be registered for between $9.00 and $25.00 per year.
The only exemption is if a dog is defined as a “working dog” and fulfils the requirements listed in the Act.
To gain this exemption, owners must lodge a statutory declaration with Council and pay an $8.00 fee for a special tag.
The Act aims to ensure effective management of dogs and promote responsible ownership and breeding, but the State Government has passed the obligation of enforcing the Act on to councils.
During last year’s blitz, inspectors found between 20 and 30 unregistered dogs per day, which resulted in 481 new dog registrations.
It also meant 130 dog owners were fined $261 each for keeping unregistered dogs.
There are currently about 4000 registered dogs in the South Burnett.
Council officers said the “churn rate” of dogs, ie. dogs that die or whose owners move out of the area, is about 1200 per year.
This forces them to undertake regular inspection programs to keep records up-to-date.
At Wednesday’s meeting, officers forecast that based on the results of the past two years’ blitzes, the cost of the latest crackdown will be offset by new registrations and fines.
Footnote: South Burnett Regional Council put an end to cat registrations in October 2013 after the State Government amended the Act to make them non-compulsory.