Keeping non-domestic animals in residential areas
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.
Before selecting your bird or animal, you should consider its suitability within your household and answer the following questions:
- Do you have enough space for the animal?
- Does the animal require a lot of maintenance or exercise, and if so, do you have time for this?
- Will the animal damage vegetation or cause erosion?
- Can you prevent the bird or animal escaping from your yard?
- Could it cause a noise or odour nuisance to surrounding neighbours?
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 on residential properties is not recommended as it may create a noise nuisance to your neighbours. While it is not an offence to keep a rooster, certain procedures must be undertaken, especially in summer months to stop them unnecessarily making ‘offensive noise’.
- Roosters can be subject to Council orders if they become a noise nuisance to neighbours.
Steps that can be taken to reduce noise from roosters include:
- To reduce the light entering the pen by blackening out the pen.
- Restricting the rooster’s neck movement by placing it in a small cage may prevent it from crowing, or raise the roost close to the roof of the pen.
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.
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.
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.
Maintaining clean and healthy conditions for your animals includes:
- Ensuring all food is stored and sealed in vermin proof containers.
- Ensure adequate clean water and shelter is available at all times.
- Regularly clean out the housing or yard to ensure all waste is removed and disposed.
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.