Dangerous dog and dog attacks

If a dog attacks, harasses or menaces a person or other animal please contact Council immediately on 6443 8333 or the Police on 131 444. An investigation will be promptly conducted by Council staff. 

An authorized person may seize and detain any dog in respect of which the person has reasonable cause to believe that an offence for a dog attack has been committed.

If your dog has been seized by a council officer following an alleged attack, then that dog will be detained at the Burnie Dogs Home or any form of custody that the authorized officer directs until;

  • If proceedings for an offence for a dog attack are instituted within 7 working days after the day on which the dog was seized, or the completion of those proceedings; or
  • If the proceedings are not instituted within that period of 7 working days, the expiration of that period.

The owner of the dog will be notified by the general manager in writing following the outcome of the investigation.

Dogs may be declared dangerous if they have:

  1. Caused serious injury to a person or other animal; or
  2. There is reasonable cause to believe that the dog is likely to cause serious injury to a person or another animal.

If either of the above occurs, the General Manager is able to serve notice on the owner of the dog and give reasons for the declaration in that notice, advising the owner of their rights of appeal.

All declared dangerous dogs whilst out in public must ensure that:

  • The person in charge of the dog is over 18 years;
  • The dog is wearing a muzzle so as to be unable to bite a person or animal;
  • The dog is wearing an approved collar;
  • The dog is on a lead that is not more than 2 meters long, is held by hand, and is sufficient to control and restrain the dog; or
  • Restricted in or on a vehicle so that it is unable to leave the vehicle or attack any person or animal outside the vehicle.

A dangerous dog is under the effective control of a person on premises at which the dog is usually kept if: 

  • The dog is in an enclosure that complies with the prescribed requirements;
  • Is wearing a muzzle so is unable to bite a person or animal;
  • Is on a lead that is not more than 2 metres long, is held by hand, and is sufficient to control and restrain the dog.

In addition, the dog must be microchipped and always wear an approved collar. If you own a dog that has been declared dangerous you must also ensure that there are approved warning signs on every entrance to your property.

Note: A dangerous dog can be identified in public by a red and yellow fluorescent diagonal striped collar.

A guard dog can only be used to guard premises that are not residential premises. If you are the owner of a dog that you wish to use as a guard dog to guard non-residential premises, then you must notify the General Manager in writing that the dog is a guard dog.

On receipt of the notification, the General Manager will declare the dog to be a dangerous dog. If the dog ceases to act as a guard dog, then the owner may apply to revoke the declaration. The declaration may be revoked if the General Manager is satisfied the dog is no longer being used as a guard dog and is not a dangerous dog.

Related resources: Dog Control Act 2000

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