Canberra Model for a safer, more pet-friendly CBR

Canberra dog owners will benefit from bins and bag dispensers at key dog walking areas as part of the ACT Government’s new plan to encourage responsible dog ownership and help reduce dog attacks.

The Canberra Model of dog management will lead to a safer community not only for dog owners, but also the wider the community with a range of reforms that will make the ACT an international leader in dog management.

Key initiatives that are part of the Canberra Model include:

  • Requiring annual registration of dogs (no extra fee applies);
  • New dog bag dispensers and bins installed in key dog walking areas across Canberra as an incentive;
  • Opportunities for free microchipping and registration;
  • Working with the RSPCA on a discounted desexing program;
  • Education programs on bite prevention and a new responsible pet ownership campaign; and
  • Rollout of the Yellow Dog campaign meaning dogs that need space for whatever reason, such as illness or anxiety, can be easily identified by yellow merchandise.

“We know there are many dog owners that are doing the right thing, but there are others that are putting the community – and other dogs, at risk through their lack of care,” Minister for City Services Chris Steel said.

“We’re changing the rules to make it clear: if your dog is on a street or a footpath area it must be on a leash, or you will be fined. Only certain ovals and parks will be off-leash and these will be clearly sign-posted.”

One of the key initiatives that will be rolled out as part of the Canberra Model annual registration for dogs (at no extra cost). The current lifetime registration scheme does not provide an accurate representation of the number of dogs in the ACT, and does not have up to date details of dog owners for law enforcement and rehoming lost dogs.

“An annual registration scheme is also an important foundation for reducing dog attacks and improving community safety, that has proven successful in other jurisdictions. Importantly, there will be no extra cost associated with this when it is introduced,” Minister Steel said.

“The Canberra Model is supported by the strongest laws on dangerous dogs and animal welfare in the country. These laws will be enforced with the addition of a new 6 person compliance team that will be highly visible in the community issuing infringements for dog owners doing the wrong thing.

“While we’re encouraging responsible pet ownership, like registering your dog annually at no extra cost, we will provide better services like dog bags and bins in key areas across the city.”

Following the release of the Canberra Model, the Government will also be rolling out a new education campaign in coming weeks to further educate the Canberra community on the rules they need to follow to be a responsible dog owner.

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