14 Feb 2018

New council bird ban could ruffle some Brisbane feathers

Laws surrounding owning an animal in Brisbane are set to change for the first time in 14 years, including prohibiting ownership of an unusual pet and the abolition of a law many consider outdated.

Brisbane City Council has two different pieces of legislation surrounding animals that date back to 2003, but a new law, which consolidates the two, has been proposed.

While many basic laws remained unchanged there were several differences under the proposed law, including adding an animal to the list of prohibited animals.

Under the new law, it would be illegal to keep peacocks and peahens in a residential area.

Currently, up to 20 peacocks can be kept on a property more than 800 square metres and up to six on premises under 800 square metres.

A council spokesman said it had been proposed to prohibit keeping peafowl after several complaints were made in the past financial year.

“Council has received 11 noise complaints about peafowl, which can be excessive during mating season,” he said.

It was unclear if existing peafowl owners would have to surrender their pet if the proposed law was adopted.

Under the current law, roosters are also banned in residential areas along with some dog breeds considered to be dangerous, but this is set to remain unchanged under the new law.

The proposed law would also impact owners of an increasingly popular dog breed.

The Animals Subordinate Local Law 2003 states greyhounds are to be muzzled and under the control of a person over 16 years when in public.

Under the newly proposed law, there is no specific legislation about keeping greyhounds.

Greyhound rescue group Friends of the Hounds secretary Kim Meteyard said while owners knew the muzzling law existed, many chose not to enforce it because it was outdated.

“I rang city council a number of times and it depended on who you got ... they would say if they are not a racing hound it wasn’t a law and someone else would say they did [need to be muzzled],” she said

“It’s an old rule, I’m glad they’ve ditched it.

“Greyhounds are just like any other dog, they are like any other pet.”

Council lifestyle and community services chairman Matthew Bourke said the proposed laws would make it easier for residents to be responsible pet owners by reducing red tape and simplifying the animal permit system.

"A lot has changed over the past 14 years, including a change in state government legislation, Brisbane population and density, and the new Animals Local Law 2017 is designed to better respond to community expectations,” he said.

The council's new Animals Local Law 2017 would replace and consolidate the existing Animals Local Law 2003 and the Animals Subordinate Local Law 2003.

The new law is open for public consultation until February 22.

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