Local law No 2. (Keeping and Control of Animals)2007

30 April 2007.

To the CEO ,

Mr S R Greensill.

Reasons for objections

Foremost. The State Laws on animal control are at present under review. Therefore it would seem an inappropriate time to be undertaking to propose changes to the Local Law until the State review is complete.

In my opinion any lessening of the requirement to hold license for the keeping, selling or breeding of animals should, if anything be tightened not loosened. The potential for increased exploitation and cruelty to animals is obvious. RSPCA can barely cope with the influx of dumped and unwanted animals. The Vetinary Assn has noted that Puppy Farm bred animals are at high risk of antisocial behavior and increased risk to members of the public. Backyard breeding for short term profit is not in the animals interest and can result in poorly bred and problem animals plus nuisance to neighbours. Entire animals kept for breeding purposes in an urban environment can cause an increased risk of nuisance in closely settled urban and semi urban areas.

Part 1. 2 States that the objects of the law are to protect the community from risk of injury or damage and ensure that an animal does not create a nuisance , or a hazard to health or safety, and to protect the amenity of the local environment .

Div 4 38 Duty to avoid nuisances. (1) (a) (b) (c).

Objection in reference to the statements: exposes the health or safety of others to significant risk, creates a reasonable apprehension in the minds of others of a threat to their health and safety is subjective and to date has not been acted on in a manner resulting in protecting vulnerable groups from mental and physical health damage and apprehension. The proposed 3 min 6 min allocations of barking ensure vulnerable groups will suffer apprehension, threat to health and safety.

Objection to the statement that the noise is not excessive unless it occurs for more than 6 mins ( 360 barks pr hour daytime) and 3 mins ( 180 barks per half hour) night time is a total contradiction to the protection of public health and results in harm to public health.

Taken to its full potential a dog may bark 8,640 times in any 24 hour period and not contravene the local law proposed that is supposed to ensure protection of public health.

This allocated time allowance has routinely been used to over ride all other health risk factors. An Ombudsmans report in recent years also advised to remove the 3 min 6 min from the local law.

10 years ago due to a lack of medical evidence this ruling on may have appeared acceptable.

We now have (enclosed) a medical abstract that validates clearly that noise pollution is a threat to health and well being.

Compiled by Lisa Goines, RN; Louis Hagler,MD.


Who found over 5000 citations in the National Library of Medicine data base, many recent, which validates medically that all sources of noise should be reduced wherever possible. Giving dog owners the right to inflict offensive noise ( the term nuisance is no longer appropriate to the amount of damage that can occur) is counter to the public mental health interest, ensures neighbor hostilities, and encourages abusive noise day and night, where uninterrupted sleep and peace in the home is a necessity to good health.

The Federal Govt funded Enhealth report (which can be viewed at the enHealth Govt website) also validates community harm to health from noise pollution.

The non medically trained publics opinion is of no consequence in defending the right to inflict unwanted noise onto the public day and night 365 days of the year in order to protect irresponsible animal owners self interest.

Govt employees making determinations on public health policy who do not study this medical information are responsible for making uninformed decisions that can result in harm to public health.

Maintaining offensive noise allowances is also not compatible with the recent Qld Health’s Dept, developed with concerns for the escalating numbers of mental health disorders, especially depression, occurring across society.

Health Promotion Principle Policy” (refer to Qld Health)

That wishes to Maximize mental health and well being in the community. Building healthy public policy. Finding selective groups of people at risk and applying freedom from discrimination. And integrity in caring for people.

People with sensitive nerves and hearing are particularly vulnerable to mental health damage from unwanted noise. They routinely suffer discrimination and are a selective group at risk.

There is no doubt that due to non suitably qualified, non medical people, in the past making such determinations as the 3 min 6 min ruling, there has been a degradation of community health and well being and inappropriate promotion of offensive and health damaging noise created by neighborhood dogs or other noisy animals .i.e. caged parrots.

The State Govt Review Committee , the EPA, Qld Health, the Attorney generals office and the Minister for Local Law have been provided with information and objections from various protest groups around Australia

The pet industry is responsible for the burgeoning numbers of dogs and cats now living in urban and city areas and for the sheer amounts of dumped and uthenased dogs and cats

Therefore it is appropriate to tighten the laws to protect public health from indiscriminate consumerism..

People who have reacted and complained to authorities about the sound of barking dogs have been blamed for their intolerant attitudes. This is no longer acceptable, and the medical risks to vulnerable groups and society at large are clearly medically validated.

Council needs to undertake a public education campaign that promotes and encourages the training of dogs to be kept quiet, and to teach of the health risks to society of unwanted , offensive noise and threatening behaviors. The educational programs run in schools by the joint Council and Qld Vets Assn is not sufficient and is obliged to reflect councils policy on noise allowances, it therefore encourages the next generation of irresponsible noisy dog owners.

We suggest that the Maryborough Council study the Darwin City Councils new laws on cats and dogs as a moral and ethical stance on the appropriate keeping of animals in a manner that does not allow them to interfere in other peoples lives in a manner that creates conflict and hostilities. NSW State laws also has sensible laws that define offensive noise as a risk to public health.

Any policy, no matter how appropriate will amount to nothing if, as has happened in the past, it is not enforced.

We hope the policy makers will update the issue of nuisance/offensive noise onto the medical footing where it belongs, and to reflect appropriately the recently instigated Qld Health Promotion Principle policy to protect vulnerable groups and public mental health.

Yours sincerely