Ranger Services

Feral Rabbit Control

Rabbits are a well-known cause of environmental damage if left unmanaged. They can cause erosion problems, prevent native vegetation from regenerating, inhibit revegetation efforts, compete with native wildlife for food and habitat, destroy gardens, and undermine buildings. Under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007 rabbits are declared pests of agriculture and all landholders are required to control rabbits. The Shire is required to control rabbits in its public open space reserves.

All control activities must comply with the Animal Welfare Act 2002 and Animal Welfare (General) Regulations 2003. The Shire approaches the design and implementation of its feral animal control programs with consideration to animal welfare, public health, impact on other species including domestic animals, timing of control effort, and the suitability of various methods to local conditions.

Licenced operators (Western Mulga) are engaged to undertake works consistent with industry standards and best practice. Rabbit activity is monitored and controls are deployed at the optimum times. Where possible a combination of methods are used to achieve the most effective control of rabbit populations with poisoning being the last method to deploy once the population has been reduced by other methods. Control sites are routinely monitored during control operations to remove affected rabbits.

Methods

Control methods that may be used include:

  • Warren destruction & fumigation in discrete locations
  • Laying of Pindone baits and cage trapping
  • Release of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease

Pest Contractors:

Western Mulga Pty Ltd,  (08) 9965 5662, info@westernmulga.com.au

Midwest Pest Management, (08) 9964 7747, mpm@node1.com.au

Warning signage will be displayed on access tracks and areas where poisons are being used. The information on the warning signs should be adhered to at all times.

Areas

Areas targeted for feral rabbit control are advertised through the Shires’ media prior to works commencing and may include:

  • Dolby Creek
  • Selected Bridal Paths
  • Bill Hemsley Park
  • Other Council controlled lands

Are you concerned about your domestic pets?

Domestic rabbits that have their vaccinations up-to-date will avoid any effects from potentially coming into contact with the rabbit haemorrhagic disease.

Pindone baiting in urban environments is acutely controlled and administered in a way that reduces risks to non-target animals. Domestic rabbits must be adequately contained and not allowed to roam outside the owner’s property boundary. Secondary poisoning is very unlikely as multiple feeds are necessary. Domestic dogs should be under control at all times. The antidote for Pindone is vitamin K1 and is available from a veterinarian.

Veterinary Clinics

Midwest Vet Centre, (08) 9964 3671, reception@midwestvet.com.au, 0407 471 933 (Emergency Service After Hours number)

Sanford Veterinary Clinic, (08) 9921 1797, reception@sanfordvet.com.au

Chapman Animal Hospital, (08) 9964 2828

Dog Ownership

State Legislation requires that dogs over three months of age are registered, and owners of unregistered dogs may be issued with infringement notices.

From 1 November 2013 all new dogs, that is pups and other dogs being registered for the first time and dogs where ownership is changing, will need to be microchipped.

All dangerous dogs were to have been microchipped by 30 November 2013.

All other dogs were to have been microchipped by 1 November 2015.

Any dog impounded will be released from the pound under the condition proof is provided to the Shire of the dog being microchipped within the time specified by the Shire.

Microchipping is at the owner's expense.

Registration

There is a 50% concession for Pensioners, copy of card required. 

If registering a dog as sterilised a Certificate of Sterilisation must be produced.

Dogs owned by the Crown are exempt from the provisions of the Act, including registration. The exemption for foxhound packs has been removed, as has the exception for dogs in kennels. While dogs normally kept in kennels will now have to be individually registered, the registration concession rate will continue to apply to kennel owners.

The option for lifetime registration is now available for a sterilised dog and for an unsterilised dog. Pensioners pay half these amounts.

Dangerous dogs must be registered annually.

Local government has been given the power to waive registration fees in circumstances where it is believed to be in the best interests of the management and control of dogs.

The only (partial) refund of registrations fees will occur when an unsterilised dog is subsequently sterilised.

Owners can nominate an alternative contact on their registration form - this will enable local governments to deal with a dog where the owner is not contactable.

Dangerous Dogs

The Act provides for three categories of dangerous dogs: dangerous dog (restricted breed), dangerous dog (declared) and commercial security dog. The following conditions apply to all three categories:

  • Requirement for dog to wear a special identifying collar, be muzzled, on a lead and under the control of an adult capable of controlling the dog when in public (except when a commercial security dog is working);
  • The dog must be confined in an enclosure that is constructed to prevent the dog from escaping, from being released or removed by another person without the owner's permission, and to prevent a child less than seven years old from entering or inserting part of their body. Warning signs must be displayed at every entrance.

Additionally restricted breeds must be sterilised and cannot be bought, sold or transferred except under very limited circumstances. Local governments will not be required to identify restricted breeds - a question to this effect appears on the new Registration Form.

Penalties

Penalties have been increased for all offences. A higher level of maximum penalty is specified for offences by dangerous dogs. In some cases, minimums also apply.

Dog attacks have been differentiated with the creation of two offences: of attacking or chasing where injury is caused and where no injury has been caused.

An application form to register your dog can be downloaded from this website. You may post this form with the appropriate fee or bring the completed form to the Shire Office with the required fee. Tags will be issued for affixing to the dog's collar. Once registered, renewal notices will be sent annually. You are requested to advise the Shire Office if a registered dog dies or is no longer required to be registered in this Shire. Your dog licence is still valid (until it expires) should you move to another Shire.

Report all straying animal situations within the Shire of Chapman Valley to the Senior Ranger

Phone: Work 9920 5011 Mob: 0448 233 016

The pound is located at the Nabawa Depot - 3270 Chapman Valley Road, Nabawa. 

Wandering Dogs

If you own a dog and it wanders away or escapes from your property, it may be impounded and you will have to pay a fee to collect it. If your dog causes damage, or injures a person or another animal, you can be made liable for this damage.

Murphy’s Law will dictate that Council’s Rangers are rarely around when dogs seem to wander. Anecdotal evidence states that these times seem to be early in the morning or at night when owners let their dogs out for a comfort break.

Without evidence, by way of a Complaint as to a Nuisance created by a Dog form signed and photographic evidence, it makes it very difficult to pursue the matter with the owner. The complainant must be prepared to appear in court or give evidence (if required) once a complaint is made.

In order for the Council to assist the community, we need your help in notifying us of the issues. Without a Complaint form, we can only rely on the Ranger services catching them in the act.

Complaint forms can be obtained at the bottom of this page.

Preventative measures to stop your dog from wandering or escaping

There are many factors that can contribute to dogs feeling the need to escape or wander. One of the most common is boredom. 

A bored dog will try and entertain itself, which can lead to undesirable behaviours such as trying to access the interesting outside world beyond their property. 

Walk your dog regularly 

  • During the walk allow your dog to sniff and explore the environment as much as possible, as sniffing is the most mentally exhausting activity a dog can do. Aim for one 30-45 minute sniffing walk per day. 
  • Spend time with your dog.
  • Dogs are social creatures that have been bred to be companion animals. Most dogs require at least four hours with their human family per day to feel safe, secure and content. This time should include physical interactions (affection), play, training, and time being able to physically access their humans. 

Enrich your dog’s environment

Spending time in the same environment, with the same toys, same smells, same noises can be really boring.

  • Rotate your dogs’ toys by putting them away and bringing only two out per day

Dogs are natural scavengers and foragers. Feeding them from a food bowl is not only un-natural for them, it is also doesn’t use any of their mental energy! So why not give your dog a job to do working for its food! Not only do they love it, it is also a great way to tire them out.

  • Scatter dry food around the yard or hide it
  • Put wet food in a Kong toy or freeze into an ice block in warm weather
  • Freeze a meal size portion of their dog roll and feed it to them as a big dog roll ice block

Although things like left over toilet roll holders, empty plastic pots, cardboard boxes, egg cartons, milk cartons/bottles etc all seem boring to us, that is not so with our dogs. Instead of tossing these in the recycling, give them to your dog to play with first.

Leave your dog inside the home when you go out

Many dogs find it far easier to relax when left inside as the distractions are far less and they feel more comfortable.

Before trialling leaving your dog inside, it’s important to ensure that they are not able to access any areas or items where they may get into mischief. Begin by leaving them inside for a short trial period, then slowly increase the time they are left alone. 

Sterilise you dog

Dogs may wander and attempt to escape to find a mate. Speak to your vet to discuss this option further. 

Please note the above is a guide only. If your dog continues to wander or escape, then other factors that contribute to this behaviour must be explored. If this is the case, please consult a Veterinary Behaviourist.

Fences

The problem in the western regions of the shire is that a number of lifestyle blocks contain the ‘ringlock’ style perimeter fencing which is not designed to keep dogs in or out. The size and activity level of your dog should determine the type of fence that you need to prevent your dog from escaping. The dog must not be able to jump or climb over, dig under or push through the fence.

For dogs that jump, try adding an inward sloping extension to the top of the fence or install a roller fence (sometimes known as Coyote Rollers). Alternatively, you can put up an additional low internal fence about a metre in from your boundary fence.

This stops the dog getting a ‘run-up’ at the fence or getting into position to jump up the fence.

If the dog is digging out, you may need to dig a trench around the bottom of the fence and fill it with concrete, bury a strip of chicken wire at the bottom of the fence or purchase an approved invisible pet fence/containment (collar) system.

Self-latching gates

Self-latching gates should be installed to prevent your dog from getting out accidentally.

Pen or compound

When fencing the whole yard is difficult, dogs may be kept in an enclosure. These should be big enough for the size of your dog, and should be built in a quiet, sheltered area. Do not build the pen or compound near your neighbour’s fence or a busy footpath.

A concrete base is better than dirt as it is easier to keep clean and prevents digging out. 

Dogs kept in an enclosure must be introduced to the confinement slowly, beginning with only short lengths of time in the confinement, then this time can be gradually increased. 

Tethering 

Tethering your dog on a rope or chain is not recommended as the dog can easily get tangled. You must still have a proper fence even if your dog is tethered on a rope or chain.

Senior Ranger

All enquiries to the Shire Office during normal office hours and the Senior Ranger after hours on mobile 0428 948 073.

If your dog is lost, it is an easier task for rangers to locate the owner if the dog is registered. If an unregistered dog is impounded, the owner may incur a penalty in accordance with the Dog Act 1976, plus an impound fee for every day the dog is impounded. Registration of the dog will be required prior to its release from the pound.

The Senior Ranger may be contacted by the following email: cso@chapmanvalley.wa.gov.au or by telephone [work hours] 9920 5011 or [after hours] 0428 948 073.

Cat Ownership

Responsible Cat ownership

In December 2011, the Western Australian State Government introduced legislation called the Cat Act 2011. From 1 November 2013 all domestic cats 6 months and older will be required to be:

  • Be sterilised
  • Be microchipped
  • Be registered with the local council where the cat is ordinarily kept.

Forms are available from the Shire office or on the Shire website. Documented proof of sterilisation & microchipping must be provided to be able to register your cat/s.

Subsidised Sterilisation

The Shire of Chapman Valley does not offer a subsidised cat sterilisation subsidy.

The Mid West Cat Shelter has been approved a grant for sterilisation subsidy. Enquiries can be made with this Shelter to determine what subsidies are available.

Microchipping

It was a legal requirement for all cats to be microchipped as at 1 November 2013. The benefits of micro chipping your pets are:

  • The insertion of the chip, under the skin is a quick and painless procedure, to be performed by a Vet
  • The microchip cannot fall out
  • The microchip remains active for the life of the animal
  • The procedure only takes a few seconds; and
  • Your pet can be immediately identified.

Breeding Cats

The legislation requires that a person who chooses to breed cats must apply to their local government for a permit. When a cat is sold, the seller must ensure the cat is microchipped and sterilised prior to transfer. If the cat cannot be sterilised due to its young age, a voucher must be issued to the new owner. Only approved breeders will be exempt from sterilisation laws.

Responsible Cat Ownership Checklist

As a responsible pet owner you are encouraged to:

  • Keep your cats confined to your property especially at night
  • Ensure your cat is easily identifiable with a collar and a name tag
  • Microchip / Sterilise and Vaccinate your cat

Some further facts regarding your cat:

  • Only 3 cats are permitted to be registered to a property
  • Only a registered cat breeder may have an unsterilised cat
  • All cats must be microchipped, sterilised and registered
  • There is an option for lifetime registration of a cat

Downloads

Cat Registration Form

Dog Registration Form

Complaint Nuisance Dog Form

Dog Attack Complaint Statement Form