Council starts consultation on key animal regulations

Friday 30 April 2021

A review of Frankston City’s current orders around dogs off lead on beaches, dogs on lead in the City centre and a cat curfew will start soon with Council keen to hear views and receive input from residents.

Councillors recently voted to conduct consultation over May and June, 2021.

They will receive a report on the consultation at their Council meeting in July to consider the results of the community consultation.

Councillors also voted to note the Domestic Animal Management Plan (DAMP) adopted August 2020 sought to undertake further engagement on the existing Council orders relating to the cat curfew – dusk to dawn, no dogs off lead on beaches and the current ban on dogs in Frankston’s Central Activities District.

The DAMP is a State Government requirement under the Domestic Animal Act 1994 and requires all Victorian Councils to develop, implement and submit a DAMP to the Department of Agriculture every four years with a review of the actions undertaken each year.

As many issues had been raised in relation to animal management, Council bought forward the November 2021 review.

Deputy Mayor Nathan Conroy said Council acknowledges the importance that pets play in the lives of residents as family members.

“In fact, 5395 cats and 15,148 dogs are currently registered with Council. It is important that guidelines are in place to guide and support owners’ management of their pets so pets can live in harmony with neighbours, the wider community local wildlife and the environment. That’s the purpose of the DAMP,” Cr Conroy said.

Cr Conroy said consultation is critical so Council is informed of residents’ views about dogs on the foreshore and in our City centre, parks and reserves, and cat curfews.

Frankston City’s current cat curfew applies from dusk to dawn with owners required to confine their cat to the owner’s property during the hours between sunset and sunrise.

Frankston dog lover Suzanne Gardner, who founded Genevieve’s Dog Walking and Social Group, said she was looking forward to providing input and feedback as part of the consultation.

Ms Gardner said dogs provided and enabled essential community connection and added to the wellbeing of residents.

She said this was particularly reinforced during last year’s lockdowns, which highlighted the vital companionship dogs provided their owners.

The Domestic Animals Act allows Councils across Victoria to determine rules about the presence of dogs and cats in public places. Council wants to hear the views of locals as to whether or not they want to:

  • allow cats to roam outside of their owner’s property.
  • allow dogs to be off leash on the beach.
  • whether dogs should be allowed in Frankston City Centre.

To have your say, visit https://www.frankston.vic.gov.au/Your_Council/Have_Your_Say/Domestic_Animal_Management_Plan

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