Skip to Navigation

Dog and cat free areas only apply to public spaces

Dogs and cats in the Wildlife Protection Areas of Hardy Avenue in the Byron Bay Lilli Pilli Estate and the Fern Beach Estate in North Ocean Shores, can not be removed by Council if they are on private property.

Council's legal services coordinator Ralph James said despite these areas being declared dog and cat free, Council can not remove the animals from private homes or lawfully stop pets from being owned.

"Wildlife Protection Areas regulations only apply to public spaces and not private homes or backyards.  

"Public spaces include a pathway, road, park, or any other place the public are entitled to use.

"However, should the animal be found in a public space that is clearly signed, the animal maybe impounded and the owner fined," he said.

Mr James said he recognised that this was of little comfort to property owners in the areas who support the pet free regulations, but unfortunately at this stage their was little enforcement officers could do in respect of animals on private property.

"Known pet owners in the area have been advised of our position and have been urged not to replace their pet when it passes on.

"We've had support from some pet owners with this approach and have reinforced the importance of keeping pets contained to help protect our wildlife corridors.

"Real estate agents are also urged to help educate potential buyers when properties change hands," he said.

Wandering pets should immediately reported to Council's enforcement officers on 6626 7000.

Pet owners are also entitled and encouraged to register their pets; no penalty will be issued if the animal is kept confined to a private property and or backyard. 

Individual residents may be able to take their own legal action. Council encourages any resident who wishes to do so to obtain their own legal advice.

Media contact:

Media Communication Officer
Byron Shire Council
Ph: 02 6626 7320

Byron Shire is located at Australia's eastern-most point with a population of almost 29,000. It is a thriving community where residents and visitors live, work and play in a sustainable environment and where Council strives to deliver the highest standard of local government services and infrastructure.