Livestock and other animals


Many people choose to keep birds or animals on their residential property but it is important to consider the type and how many animals are suitable first.

Keeping animals other than domestic pets has the potential to compromise the wellbeing of the animal and the health or amenity of the surrounding neighbourhood.

To ensure you keep your bird or animal in a happy and safe environment without affecting your neighbours, it is recommended you follow these simple guidelines.

What are the legal requirements?

Birds and other animals on any property must be kept in a way so that they do not create a public nuisance, an offensive odour or unhealthy conditions. Failure to do this can result in Council issuing an order limiting or prohibiting the keeping of birds or animals or restricting the manner in which they are kept. The Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 sets out the standards for keeping birds or animals.

The State Environmental Planning Policy defines what type of associated structures are allowed to be constructed. It is recommended you check with Council to see if a Development Application will be required prior to commencing any building works. 




  • Fowls (chickens) or guinea fowls must not be kept within 4.5 metres of a dwelling, public hall, school, or premises used for manufacture, preparation, sale or storage of food. All other poultry other than chickens or guinea fowl must not be kept within 30 metres of a dwelling, public hall, school or premises used for manufacture, preparation, sale or storage of food.
  • Poultry houses must be constructed or installed so that roof water is disposed of without causing a nuisance to adjoining owners.
  • Poultry yards must at all times be kept clean and free from offensive odours


  • The keeping of roosters in residential areas will be determined by the zoning of your property. In some zones, roosters are prohibited. Please check with Council to ensure roosters can be kept in your zone before acquiring them
  • Roosters can be subject to Council orders if they become a noise nuisance to neighbours.


Horses and Cattle

Horses and cattle must not be kept within nine metres (or such greater distance as the Council may determine in a particular case) of a dwelling, school shop, office, factory, workshop, church or other place of public worship, public hall or premises used for the manufacture, preparation or storage of food.

Please refer to the NSW Department of Primary Industries for more information about keeping horses. 


Pigs (Swine)

Because swine have potential to create significant odour and waste it is inappropriate to keep pigs (swine) on a residential property. Swine must not be kept (and swine's dung must not be deposited) within 60 metres of a dwelling, shop, office, factory, church or other place of public worship, workshop, school or public place in a city, town, village or other urban part of an area. Council can increase the distance by placing an order on the keeping of swine to a resident or location.

Pigs cannot be kept for commercial purposes without Development Consent. Even small scale piggeries fall under the intensive agriculture definition for the LEP and as such any plans by land owners to own pigs for commercial purposes will require Planning approval. Keeping more than a few pet pigs may require Planning approval. 


Other animals

If you wish to erect a structure to house or contain birds or animals such as a stable, chicken coup or aviary, it is recommended you check to see if a Development Application will be required. This must be done prior to commencing any building works. 


Animal welfare

On occasions, Council receives complaints in regards to the welfare of an animal. Council does not have the authority to oversee the treatment of animals. If you feel an animal is not being adequately looked after or cruelly treated, then it is important that you contact the RSPCA or if an emergency, the Yass Police on 6226 9399. 



Straying Livestock

The issue of straying stock and impounding of those animals on private properties, Government/Council land and roadsides has been handled by different authorities over a number of years.

There is a process Council follows when stock are reported straying on public roadways or public land within the Local Government Area. Please see below for more information.

Straying stock on public land

Where stock are reported straying on public roadways or public land within a Council area, Council staff will:

  • Seek information from the person reporting as to the location, number of stock, potential owners and if there is any immediate danger to road users or other members of the public from the stock in that area.
  • Contact local NSW Police to seek assistance if traffic control is required.
  • Attend area and put appropriate warning signage in place.
  • Determine if the owner of the stock can be identified and arrange to have the owner come and assist with the return of the stock to their property.
  • If there is danger to road users, seek a direction from Police to have the stock put in the nearest available paddock or yards, and, if possible, in consultation with the landholder.
  • If the owner cannot be identified, Ranger staff will arrange for the stock to be impounded at an appropriate time.


Straying stock on private property

Where a complaint is received of straying stock on private property, the following steps should be taken:

  • A landholder who has stray stock on their property will be requested to yard those stock on their property and maintain a duty of care of those stock until the owner collects them or they are transported to a suitable impounding facility by the landholder.
  • During business hours, Council's Ranger and Local Land Services (LLS) staff will attend the property to identify the stock and ascertain if they are diseased. Information on how the stock came to be on the property should be obtained
  • Council staff will contact the stock owner and advise that the stock is impounded at the landholder's property. The stock owner should be advised of their responsibilities and issued with an advisory or warning letter. This could include that subsequent incidents can result in legal action (infringement notice or Court) and fees and charges associated with the impounding.
  • The owner of the stock that have been impounded should be encouraged to contact the landholder who has the animals on their property to arrange a suitable time to collect the stock and, if requested, pay a reasonable amount for maintenance while the stock have been impounded. Any other costs must be pursued through agreement or Civil Court action.
  • If the owner of the stock cannot be identified or does not come forward to claim the stock, arrangements should be made to have them transferred to the nearest suitable impounding facility. Council will then take responsibility for the impounding and disposal of that stock.