A BID to impose a curfew on domestic animals in a south-west council area has failed.
But cat and dog owners can expect a stronger focus as Corangamite Shire Council brings into force its new four-year domestic animal management plan.
Council, at its last meeting on August 27, adopted the shire’s 2013-2017 plan, which guides the shire’s focus on cats and dogs.
The plan rejected a curfew suggestion from three community members, but it said a stronger focus on officer training, animal registrations, nuisance animals, dog attacks, dangerous and restricted dogs, overpopulation and euthanasia rates was needed.
Also among the eight community submissions were concerns regarding education, designated off-leash areas, the lack of dog obedience training in the shire and the under-reporting of cat problems.
“Three submissions proposed the possibility of a domestic animal curfew, however discussions with the submitters revealed that the community’s knowledge of the current requirements and council’s local laws … is low,” environment and emergency manager Lyall Bond said in a report to the meeting.
“It has therefore been identified in the plan that better community education of the existing requirements for domestic animals is required as a first step before a curfew or other restrictions on domestic animals are considered.
“Community feedback also revealed that often issues with domestic animals and particularly cats are not reported to council.
“The issue of trespass and responsible ownership is highlighted within the plan and therefore further work will need to be undertaken to ensure reporting and monitoring of issues increases in the future.’’