Pet policy under way

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Dec 28, 2011 in Rat News | Subscribe

Council officers put together a draft policy outlining how many animals people could keep to allow rangers more power to respond to complaints.

“Council rangers have found it difficult in exercising their powers with no clear-cut guidelines,” a report to council by environmental and community services director John Hrobelko said.

“Once these guidelines are adopted by council, the council rangers have clear-cut guidelines for enforcing people on suitable methods of keeping animals.”

The draft Local Orders for the Keeping of Animals in Urban Areas of Tenterfield Shire stated residents in urban areas should have a maximum of two house dogs and four working dogs, two cats, 15 chickens, two rabbits, two ferrets, 12 pet rats, mice and guinea pigs, a sheep or goat per tenth hectare of land, one horse or cow per half hectare, and no pigs.

Council did not adopt the draft and has asked officers to rethink the limits before it comes back to council and the draft policy goes on public display for comment.

“Councillors weren’t completely happy with some of the suggestions in there,” mayor Toby Smith said.

“What’s happened is that during the wet, we had complaints about smells and too many animals in paddocks. But people like to have animals.

“One of the suggestions was that there should be only two dogs. That has got to be looked at.”

Tenterfield Poultry Club Inc president Darren Collier said while he believed it was important to give rangers the power to enforce a set of guidelines, council needed to keep in mind that animals were part of rural life.

“You shouldn’t necessarily have to be part of a poultry association – so many people have kids and want to have a few chickens,” Mr Collier said. “That is part of what living in rural communities is about. It’s all good for the kids.

“Our concern is that someone from Brisbane who has been living next to the M1 [the Gold Coast Highway] comes to town and wants to complain about a rooster crowing – that’s crap.”

Mr Collier said the poultry club had seen the original draft policy and expressed their concerns to council, who had adopted some of the club’s recommendations.

He said he believed council was prepared to listen.

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