The Domestic Animals Act 2000 states that an animal nuisance exists if the keeping or behaviour of an animal causes a condition, state or activity that constitutes:
- damage to property owned by a person other than the keeper
- excessive disturbance to a person other than the keeper because of noise;
- danger to the health of an animal or a person other than the keeper.
Generally nuisance behaviour relates to excessive noise caused by a dog barking. For more information on ways to alleviate nuisance behaviour, see the Suggestions To Alleviate Nuisance Behaviour. (PDF 295 KB) Suggestions To Alleviate Nuisance Behaviour (WORD 50 KB)
It should be noted that all dogs bark to some degree and only some barking behaviour meets the criteria for "nuisance" as described above. For more information, see the Nuisance Dog Barking Factsheet (PDF 445KB).
Please note: It is recommended that before lodging a complaint with us, you speak to your neighbours about the problem. Some people are unaware that their animals are causing a problem and sometimes this direct approach will rectify the problem quickly.
What do I need to do to lodge an animal nuisance complaint?
You can submit an Animal Nuisance Complaint Form to Domestic Animal Services (DAS). DAS will advise the owner of the complaint and provide two weeks for the issue to be addressed. If after two weeks the situation has not improved, you should advise DAS in writing, with a four day bark diary, and they will commence a formal investigation into the matter.
This information is essential when Domestic Animal Services is holding discussions with the dog owner to demonstrate the nature of nuisance behaviour and when it is occurring so that they can take steps to address the issue.
If you consider that you may be experiencing an animal nuisance problem in your neighbourhood please complete the form 'How to lodge an animal nuisance complaint' (Word 146KB), PDF version (180KB) and send it along with the bark diary to Domestic Animal Services at GPO Box 158, Canberra City 2601. The Domestic Animals Act 2000 states that the Registrar must investigate any written animal nuisance complaint unless satisfied that the complaint is frivolous or vexatious.
You may also contact the Conflict Resolution Service to discuss the matter and receive some free dispute coaching, or enquire about mediation.