Thank you to everyone who helped with the review of Council's previous Public Order for the Management of Dogs and Cats in Public Places. 3,978 responses were received during Stage 2 community engagement.

Your feedback helped us to prepare the new Council Order for the Control of Dogs and Cats, which was adopted by Council at their meeting on 24 June 2024.

To view a recording of the meeting and the meeting minutes, go to Council's website. This project was Item 4.1 on the agenda.

What this means for you

The following changes are part of the new Council Order.

Dogs on and off lead

  • Dogs must be on a lead in public places, unless in a reserve.
  • In reserves, dogs can be off lead except during Council licensed, permitted and organised events or when they are within 5 metres of a BBQ, playground or on a shared footway.
  • Dogs are prohibited in environmentally sensitive areas.
  • There is a new definition of 'effective control' which now means that a dog:
    • is capable of being recalled to its owner or handler
    • is within clear line of sight to its owner or handler
    • does not engage in anti-social, threatening or intimidatory behaviour.

Cat curfew

  • Introduction of a two-year cat curfew trial from 7pm to 7am, commencing 1 February 2025.
  • A 6-month enforcement amnesty, to support cat owners to transition to the new curfew.

What we heard in 2024

Stage 2 community engagement

Between 21 March to 12 May 2024, we did a second round of community engagement including three in-person drop-in sessions, a random paper survey of 2,000 households and an online survey. This resulted in a total of 3,978 responses. This stage of engagement was supported by a Discussion Paper.

37% of responses came from people who own a cat, while 76% own a dog.


  • 33% respondents prefer a 7pm to 7am curfew
  • 40% respondents prefer a 24-hour confinement
  • 27% respondents prefer continuing with the existing approach


  • 58% of respondents believe that dogs should be kept on-lead on our streets and shared pathways
  • 74% of respondents believe that dogs should be kept on-lead during public events and meetings including sport events and training sessions
  • 76% of respondents disagree with restricting off-lead dogs from sports fields and 73% of respondents support the current 5 meter prohibition of dogs from barbeque areas

You can read the full dog survey findings report or cat survey findings report for a full summary of the consultation.

What we heard in 2022

Stage 1 community engagement

In November and December 2022, 760 people completed a survey to share their views on dogs and cats in public places. Key insights from the survey include:

Dogs - key themes

These themes were identified in survey responses regarding dogs in public spaces.

Cats - key themes

These themes were identified in survey responses regarding reports and experience of nuisance cats.


Did you know that in 1998, Council adopted rules (a Public Order) for dogs and cats in public places?

The current rules state that dogs must be kept on a lead when they are on a Council road or footpath, and when they are within 5 metres of a shared pathway, children’s playground or barbeque area.

And you’ve probably seen signs at parks and reserves around Banyule that tell you whether you can take your dog or cat in with you. This is because the Public Order states that dogs and cats are not allowed to enter environmentally sensitive places.

This project asked the community to give feedback to help shape a new Public Order for dogs and cats in public places.