Dock and roll: dogs on ‘cats trial a shore thing

A three-month trial allowing dogs on Brisbane ferries will officially begin on Monday, December 9.

Making the announcement at Teneriffe with the RSPCA and Animal Welfare League Queensland (AWLQ), Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said dogs would be permitted to travel on CityCats Monday to Friday during off-peak times and all weekend, subject to a number of conditions.

It comes after 5,000 people responded to a survey earlier this year, with 86 per cent supporting a trial.

“This is something Brisbane residents and visitors have wanted to try for a while,” Mr Bailey said.

“We’ve seen dogs allowed on public transport in cities across the world, including Sydney and Melbourne, so why not give it a go right here in Brisbane.”

The three-month trial will allow TransLink to monitor how people respond to the dogs on CityCats and how it influences their use of the service.

Local members Grace Grace and Di Farmer as well as Councillor for Morningside Kara Cook raised the idea with the Minister earlier this year.

“I listened to locals on this important issue and I never stopped lobbying on their behalf, so it’s great news for our community that this has now been delivered,” Ms Grace said.

RSPCA QLD spokesperson Michael Beatty said the initiative was a step in the right direction.

“We believe the dogs on ferries trial is steering Brisbane towards pet friendly policies of the like seen across other major cities in the world,” Mr Beatty said.

“We understand there is a degree of anxiety from a small group and that is why muzzles are part of the trial, to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all.

“However, it is important to note that this is indeed a trial, and people are encouraged to provide their feedback on terms and conditions.”

During the trial, smaller dogs can either travel in a secure carrier or on a lead with a muzzle, while larger dogs will need to be on a lead with a muzzle.

“For many dogs and their owners, this will be the first time travelling via ferry, so we’re introducing a number of conditions to make sure everyone is safe when they travel,” Mr Bailey said.

“This is about making sure we get the right balance between comfort and safety for commuters while making sure there is space for dogs on ferries too.

“We’ll evaluate these conditions of travel as part of the trial.”

Pet owners will also need to make sure:

  • They only have two dogs per handler;
  • They carry waste bags and clean up any mess the dog makes while on board;
  • Dogs remain under control at all times and do not disturb other passengers;
  • Dogs must stay with their handler outside the ferry cabin at the rear of the vessel; and
  • All waste is to be taken off the vessel and not put in vessel bins or left on board.

The ferry master and their crew will have discretion to determine if there is enough capacity to carry pet dogs.

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