Under the Companion Animals Act 1998, Council has the authority to declare dogs to be dangerous, menacing or a restricted breed.
If your dog has been declared dangerous, menacing or a restricted breed, you must follow certain rules about how your animal is kept.
If you do not follow these requirements your dog may be seized and you may be issued a penalty.
A dog may be declared dangerous if it:
- has, without being provoked, attacked or killed a person or animal (other than vermin)
- has, without being provoked, repeatedly threatened to attack or repeatedly chased a person or animal (other than vermin)
- is kept or used for hunting
- has been declared a dangerous dog under a law of another State or a Territory that corresponds with the Companion Animals Act 1998.
A dog may be declared menacing if it:
- has displayed unreasonable aggression towards a person or animal (other than vermin)
- has, without being provoked, attacked a person or animal (other than vermin) but without causing serious injury or death
- has been declared a menacing dog under a law of another State or a Territory that corresponds with the Companion Animals Act 1998.
Dogs may be declared a restricted breed if they are a breed, crossbreed or kind of dog on the following list:
- American Pitbull Terrier or Pitbull Terrier
- Japanese Tosa
- Dogo Argentino (Argentinean fighting dog)
- Fila Brasiliero (Brazilian fighting dog)
- Perro de Canario or Presa Canario
- any other dog or breed whose importation into Australia is prohibited
- any dog declared by an authorised council officer to be a restricted dog.
Declaring a dog a restricted breed
We will give you written notice of our intention to declare your dog a restricted breed. You may choose to have your dog's breed and/or temperament assessed to provide proof that your dog is not a restricted breed or a danger to the public. We will assess your representations and notify you of our decision.
Rules for dangerous, menacing and restricted dogs
If your dog has been declared dangerous, menacing or restricted, you must ensure:
- the dog is microchipped, desexed and registered
- the dog is not in the sole charge of a person under 18 years of age
- the dog is contained in an enclosure that meets the requirements of clause 24 of the Companion Animals Regulation 2018
- menacing dogs are enclosed in a manner that is sufficient to contain it and prevent a child from gaining access to the dog
- prominently dangerous dog warning signs are displayed on the premises where your dog is normally kept
- the dog wears a distinctive collar, which can be purchased from Council’s animal shelter
- the dog is not given away, sold or advertised for sale
- the dog is not used for breeding or made available for breeding.
When outside its enclosure the dog must be on a chain, cord or leash, securely muzzled, and under the effective control of a competent person. The dog can never be walked off-leash, even in designated off-leash areas.
You must notify us within 24 hours if a dangerous, menacing or restricted dog:
- has attacked or injured a person or animal
- is lost or missing
- has died
- is being kept at a different address or is being kept outside Sutherland Shire.
Failure to comply and penalties
Council carries out regular inspections to ensure owners comply with legislation. Heavy penalties apply for breaches of these laws.
Council officers have the authority to seize dangerous, menacing or restricted breed dogs if owners do not comply with legislation.
- Companion Animals Regulation 2018 - legislation outlining companion animals definition and enforcement.
- Compliance and enforcement - Council has varied regulatory functions that empower Council to enforce legislation and regulation.