Have your say on Council’s Draft Animal Management Strategy

24 July, 2014
Author: Charles Hodgson

Sunshine Coast Council today approved a draft strategy that will act as a tool for promoting and enhancing responsible pet ownership, whilst informing the community about Council’s role and future priorities in animal management – and we want to know what residents think.
Community Programs Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said the community is invited to have their say on the draft Domestic Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Strategy 2014-2020 from July 28 to August 22, 2014.
“With Australia having one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world1, it is important to acknowledge the positive emotional, social and physical impacts that pets can have on their owners, and for Council to ensure that pet owners are educated and supported in the responsible management of their cats and dogs,” Cr McKay said.
“The draft strategy endorses the vision of ‘your pet, your responsibility’, signifying that keeping a cat or dog is a considerable and often long-term commitment and responsibility both socially and economically.
“The feedback provided from the community will help to inform the preparation of the final Animal Management Strategy, which will be presented to Council seeking adoption in late 2014.”
The draft Domestic Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Strategy 2014-2020 assists in outlining:
· the requirements and considerations that exist for keeping a cat or dog
· what Council currently does and what it needs to do in the future to enhance operations and further support responsible pet ownership over the next six years.
The strategy does not constitute any changes to the local laws.
Cr McKay said while owners were responsible for keeping their animals healthy and safe, they were also responsible for ensuring their animal was well behaved, does not create a nuisance or endanger others.
“Council works with the community to promote and encourage responsible pet ownership through information, education, investigation, and as a last resort enforcement and prosecution,” she said.
“Currently there are 37,565 registered dogs, and 6,884 registered cats on the Sunshine Coast.
“Of all registered dogs, 87% are desexed and 72% microchipped, whilst 93% of all registered cats are desexed, and 75% microchipped.
“Across the Sunshine Coast region, there are clearly identifiable ‘hotspots’ in registered animal densities. The areas with the highest rate of registered dogs and cats include Buderim, Little Mountain, Nambour and Maroochydore.”
There are a number of ways residents can provide input – complete an online survey via Council’s website, fill out a survey at any of Council’s libraries or customer service centres, or email feedback directly to commdevelopment@sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au.
Feedback can be provided until 5pm on August 22, 2014.