The Council is responsible for implementing a dog and animal management policy. This covers microchipping of animals, registration of dogs, and areas where dogs can exercise on and off the lead. The current Hobart City Council policy can be found online.
The Dog Control Act 2000 (Tas) creates obligations for dog owners, including registration of dogs over the age of 6 months (s8), the implantation of a microchip (s15A), and certain obligations on dog owners while the dog is in a public place. These obligations are effective control, to prevent the chasing of vehicles or bicycles, and the prevention of attacks, as well as the confinement of bitches on heat, away from public places (s16).
If a dog attacks a person or another person, causing serious injury, a court can order damages and compensation from the owner, as well as that the dog be destroyed (s19). The owner is also obligated to report the attack to the council within 24 hours. An attack can lead to a declaration of a dog as a dangerous dog.
There are powers to seize and detain ‘dogs at large’. If an owner who has been notified of their dog’s detention by council, does not reclaim the dog after five days it may be sold, destroyed, or otherwise disposed of (s35). This time period is reduced to three working days where the owner is not identifiable.
Dangerous dogs are under special provisions that create stricter controls for their management and possible destruction at a later date. This is particularly the case if the dangerous dog attacks a person. These controls include being muzzled, being on a short lead, and being under the control of a person over the age of 18 years (s32) when in a public place. Whether a dog is a dangerous dog is a matter of council declaration. If a dog has caused serious injury to a person or another animal, this can lead to the declaration of the animal as a dangerous dog. The Dog Control Act 2000 requires the owner to de-sex the dangerous dog, as well as to microchip it (s32A). All dogs that guard non-residential premises are considered to be dangerous dogs (s30).
Complaints about barking dogs should be directed to either to the local council or the EPA. Complaints about dogs at large, including on private property should be directed to the local council so that an authorised person can detain the dog, and notify the owner for collection, and payment of a fine.
See the Hobart City Council website for the three steps that are taken with barking dogs, which include notification letters and ends with fines.