Domestic Animal Management Plan


The Horsham Rural City Council is required to prepare and implement a Domestic Animal Management Plan every four years. This plan sets out a program of actions which aim to ensure compliance with statutory requirements and to implement the vision and strategic objectives identified for effective animal management control in the Horsham Rural City Council municipality.

The draft Plan, with some amendments in response to feedback, was adopted by Council on the 16 December 2019.

Download the adopted Plan

The Plan:

  • Documents Council’s current animal management processes and practices
  • Evaluates whether animal control services provided by the Council meets strategic objectives, as set by legislative and community standards
  • Sets out a program of action Council intends to pursue to meet those strategic objectives
  • Provides a benchmark against which progress in meeting the strategic objectives can be evaluated, and
  • Provides for a review of existing orders, made by the Council under the Act and local laws dealing with the management of dogs and cats in the municipality, to determine if they are sufficient and desirable or whether further orders are required.
  • The Draft Plan closely follows the template provided by the Department of Jobs Precincts and Regions that sets out relevant headings to be addressed.
  • The Draft Plan was prepared in consultation with the Domestic Animal Management Advisory Group.  This advisory group to Council comprises a Councillor, a council officer, a veterinarian, members of community rehoming associations Horsham PAWs and Phoenix Animal Rescue, and two members of the community. The Advisory Group meets monthly.    

The community was invited to read the Draft Plan and to make comment and suggestions via written submission. Submissions could address animal management services, programs or strategies, new orders that could be made to regarding responsible pet ownership in the community, or raise concerns associated with current Council policies on animal management. Submissions are now closed.

The following is a summary of key issues identified through the development of the Draft Plan:

  1. Improvements have been made in data collection by the Community Safety Unit over the past 10 months, however it is recommended a review of the methodology of current data capture, and the data Council collects regarding animal management be conducted.  Leveraging new technology will improve data collection and service delivery.
  2. Current data reveals there is a significantly high number of cats being euthanased.  Extracting feral cat data from overall cat data is important to provide a better picture of how the Community Safety Unit is performing in this space
  3. Turnover of staff in the Community Safety Unit has an impact on data capture and service delivery.