City calls for feedback on proposed new Domestic Animals Orders

The Greater Bendigo City Council is calling for submissions on two new proposed Domestic Animals Act (DDA) 1994 orders for the introduction of 24-hour cat containment and to change Greater Bendigo from an off-leash default to an on-leash default municipality.

The two orders are key actions from the City of Greater Bendigo Domestic Animal Management Plan (DAMP) adopted by Council in 2021. They are:

  • The introduction of a 24-hour cat containment order to replace the current order of confinement between sunset to sunrise.
  • Changing Greater Bendigo from a default off leash to a default on leash municipality and the introduction of new off leash areas.

Greater Bendigo Mayor Cr Andrea Metcalf said the Domestic Animals Act 1994 (DAA) allows Victorian Councils, by resolution, to make orders under sections 25 and 26 of the Act.

“If adopted, the proposed changes would mean all cats must be securely confined to their owners property 24 hours a day and dogs can only be off leash in designated off leash public areas within the municipality,” Cr Metcalf said.


“Section 25 of the DAA refers to cats found at large.  This section allows Victorian Councils to make an order that specifies where cats are permitted during what hours, as prescribed by the order.  It also provides the penalty if cats are found at large. 


“Currently in Greater Bendigo, there is an order in place that requires cats to be secured to the owner’s property from sunset to sunrise.  The new order is proposing to require cats to be securely confined to the owner’s property at all times.


“Section 26 of the DAA allows Victorian Councils to prohibit dogs from certain public places within the municipality and a requirement for dogs to be on leash at all times, unless in a designated off-leash area as named by the City.

“Greater Bendigo is currently a default off-leash municipality, but we are proposing to make it a default on-leash municipality and introduce new designated areas where dogs can be exercised off-leash.

“I encourage all interested people to view the orders and proposed designated off-leash areas on the City’s Let’s Talk Website where they can also provide feedback.”

The proposed orders and designated off leash areas can be viewed on the City’s Let’s Talk website

Submissions can also be made on the Let’s Talk website until Monday February 13, 2023.

 Council will consider all submissions before making a final decision on the proposed orders.

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