Dangerous dogs

The General Manager of council may declare a dog to be a dangerous dog if the dog has caused serious injury to a person or animal, or if they believe that the dog is likely to cause serious injury to a person or animal. Owners have the right to appeal a dangerous dog declaration with the Magistrates Court (Administrative Appeals Division) within 14 days of the service of the notice of the declaration.

Dangerous dog desexing and microchipping

Once a dog is declared to be a dangerous dog, it must be desexed and microchipped within 28 days. The owner must provide us with a copy of a veterinarian’s certificate, stating that the dog has been de-sexed and/or implanted with an approved microchip within seven days of the procedure. The owner of the dog is responsible for the costs of desexing, and microchipping and must ensure that the microchip is not removed from the dog without approval. Failing to microchip a dog, or failing to ensure that a microchip is not removed are offences that are punishable by fines.

Control of dangerous dogs

When a dangerous dog is in a public place, the owner or person in charge of the dog must be at least 18 years of age and ensure that the dog is:

  • Muzzled so it is unable to bite a person or animal;
  • Held on a lead that is no more than two metres long, and which is sufficient to control and restrain the dog.

Failing to meet any of these requirements may incur a penalty.

Warning signs and approved collars

An approved warning sign must be erected at each entrance to a property that houses a declared dangerous dog. The dog is also required to wear an approved collar at all times. Signs and collars can be purchased from council.

Sale and purchase of dangerous dogs

A person who wishes to become the owner of a dangerous dog must apply to their council for approval to have ownership transferred to them. All dogs declared to be dangerous dogs in other states will be recognised as such in Tasmania and approval will be required before the dog can be imported into the state. A dangerous dog may only be sold or given away after the buyer or new owner has received prior approval from their council. The seller must notify their council within 24 hours of completion of the sale of the dog. Failure to notify the council of such a sale may incur a penalty.

Loss, straying or death of a dangerous dog

If a dangerous dog goes missing, strays, dies, or is lost, the owner or a person on behalf of the owner must notify us as soon as possible. Failure to do so may incur a penalty. A dangerous dog must not be allowed to stray or be abandoned. Abandonment is considered an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 1993.

Attacks by dangerous dogs

If a dog declared to be a dangerous dog attacks a person or animal, the owner is guilty of an offence and may be punished by a fine or imprisonment for up to 12 months. A person found guilty of an attack by an already declared dangerous dog will be automatically banned from owning or being in charge of any dog for a period of five years.

Dangerous dog enclosures

As per Section 32 of the Dog Control Act 2000, when not in a public place, a dangerous dog must be housed in an enclosure that complies with the Dog Control Regulations 2010. Owners are advised to contact us prior to constructing any enclosure to determine if building or planning approvals are required. We may detain a dangerous dog until a suitable enclosure has been built. The dog owner will be responsible for the costs of us holding the dog. If a suitable enclosure is not built, we may destroy the dog and recover all costs from the owner.