Restricted Dogs

On 13 January 2006, the NSW State Government approved amendments to the legislation governing companion animals.

This affects owners of restricted breed dogs and dogs that are of a breed, kind of breed or are a cross-breed of a restricted breed dog.

Dog breeds classed as restricted

-   American pit bull terrier or pit bull terrier,
-   Japanese tosa,
-   dogo Argentino,
-   fila Brasiliero
-   Any dog containing any part restricted breed, declared by a Council under
    Division 6 of the Companion Animals Act,
-   Any other dog of a breed, kind or description prescribed by the Companion
    Animals Regulation.

Note that the importation into Australia of restricted dogs is prohibited.

A table of dog control categories under the Companion Animals Act is available here.

IT IS ILLEGAL TO SELL, GIVE AWAY, ACQUIRE OR BREED WITH A RESTRICTED DOG

Requirements for owners of restricted dogs

From 13 January 2006, if you own a restricted dog, you must ensure that each of the following requirements are complied with. Severe penalties may be imposed and/or the dog may be seized if the requirements are not met:

1.    Distinctive collar

The dog must at all times wear a durable, secure, red and yellow striped collar, which complies with the Companion Animal Regulations.

2.    Lead and muzzled

Whenever the dog is outside of its enclosure, which is able to restrain the dog and prevent a child from having access to it, the dog:

-    Must be under the effective control of some competent person by means
     of an adequate chain, cord or leash that is attached to the dog and that
     is being held by (or secured to) the person, and
-    Must be muzzled in a manner to prevent it from biting any person or animal.

Note that a dog is not considered to be under the effective control of a person if the person has more than 2 dogs (one of which is the restricted dog) under their control at onetime.

3.    Registration

All dogs must be identified by microchip and registered on the Companion Animals Register.

4.    Supervision

The dog must not at any time be in the sole charge of a person under the age of 18years.

5.    Signage

One or more signs must be displayed on the property showing the words "Warning Dangerous Dog," in letters clearly visible from the boundaries of the property and which comply with requirements set out in the Regulations.

6.    Notification of any change in details

The owner must notify Council, of any of the following matters:

-    that the dog has attacked or injured a person or animal (other than vermin) -
     notice to be given within 24 hours after the attack or injury,
-    that the dog cannot be found - notice to be given within 24 hours after the
     dog's absence is first noticed,
-    that the dog has died - notice to be given as soon as practicable after the death,
-    that the dog is no longer being ordinarily kept in the area of the council -
     notice to be given as soon as practicable after the change of location,
-    that the dog is being ordinarily kept at a different location in the area of the
     Council - notice to be given as soon as practicable after the change of location.

7.    Desexing

Restricted dogs must be desexed.

8.    Enclosure requirements

While the dog is at home, the dog will be required to be kept in an enclosure that complies with the requirements prescribed by the Regulation.

Council may declare a dog as restricted

If Council is of the opinion that a dog is of a breed, kind of breed or is a cross-breed of a restricted dog, Council may give notice to the owner of the dog of its intentions to declare the dog to be restricted.

Contesting a notice declaring a dog to be a restricted breed

If Council notifies a dog owner of its intention to declare their dog as a restricted breed dog, the owner can contest this. To contest, the dog owner - at their own expense - must arrange for an approved 'Breed Assessor' to provide a certificate stating the breed of the dog.

If the 'Breed Assessor' states the dog is of a restricted breed, Council will declare it to be restricted. If the certificate shows the dog to be a cross of a restricted breed, the owner can - at their own expense - arrange for an approved 'Temperament Assessor'. If the Temperament Assessor states in writing that the dog is not a danger to the public and is not likely, without provocation, to attack or bite a person or animal, Council will not declare the dog restricted.

Where this is not done or cannot be done, Council may declare the dog to be restricted and the owner must comply with the Companion Animals Regulation regarding restricted breed dogs.