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Keeping Animals

Residents may keep animals as pets (subject to any relevant laws) provided they are properly cared for and do not cause a nuisance or danger to health or safety.

  • All pets must be provided with food, water, preventive health care and veterinary care appropriate to their needs
  • Shelters, cages or enclosures should be escape-proof, provide adequate shelter, protection from predators, and meet the physical and behavioural needs of the animals
  • All shelters, cages, enclosures and equipment, including food and water containers, should be designed and constructed so that they can be easily and effectively cleaned
  • All facilities and equipment should be cleaned regularly and be kept clean
  • Appropriate measures should also be taken to control vermin and other pests.

Where animals are being kept inappropriately, Council may order the occupier of the premises:

  • Not to keep more than a specified number of animals
  • To keep the animals in a specified manner
  • To cease keeping the animals.

Aviary Birds

A wide variety of bird species are commercially available for domestic aviaries.

Aviaries may be erected without consent, subject to compliance with the exempt requirements set out in the State Government’s Exempt and Complying Development Code.

Bees

All beekeepers must be registered with the NSW Department of Industry and Investment. For further information see the Department's Backyard Beekeeping Fact Sheet.

Horses and Cattle

The keeping of horses and cattle in residential areas is not recommended. Standards for keeping horses and cattle are set out in the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005. Development consent is required from Council to erect a stable.

Native Fauna

All native mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians are protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

Any person wanting to keep native fauna as pets (other than certain species of birds) must obtain a licence from the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water.

Further information on keeping native animals as pets can be obtained from the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water.

Pigs

Standards for keeping swine or pigs are set out in clauses 17 and 18 of Schedule 2 under the Local Government (Orders) Regulation 2005.

Under the regulations, all pigs must be kept at least 60 metres from any dwelling, shop, office, factory, church or other place of worship, workshop, school or public place in a city, town, village or other urban part of an area. This effectively prohibits the keeping of pigs in the City of Ryde.

These requirements also apply to pigs sold as ‘miniature’ pet pigs.

Poultry

Poultry include domestic fowls, ducks, geese, turkeys and guinea fowls. However, only domestic fowls are generally suitable for suburban backyards.

Roosters can cause a nuisance by crowing and should not be kept in urban areas.

Poultry should have a poultry house for nesting and roosting, and a yard for foraging in dry weather.

Standards for keeping poultry are set out in clauses 19 and 20 of Schedule 2 under the Local Government (Orders) Regulation 2005. The regulations state that poultry must not cause a nuisance or danger to health and that the poultry yard must be kept clean and free of offensive odours.

Domestic fowls and guinea fowls should be kept at least 4.5 metres from neighbouring residences. Other kinds of poultry should be kept at least 30 metres from neighbouring residences.

The poultry yard should be enclosed to prevent the escape of the poultry.

Fowl and poultry houses may be erected without consent, subject to compliance with the exemption requirements set out in the State Government’s Exempt and Complying Development Code, and should have a concrete floor to facilitate cleaning.

Further information on backyard poultry keeping may be obtained from the NSW Department of Industry and Investment.

Rabbits

The keeping of wild rabbits is prohibited. Pet rabbits must be either a recognised domestic breed or a hybrid of a domestic breed.

Rabbits should be housed in a suitable hutch. The hutch must be of sturdy construction to prevent escape. If the rabbit is taken out of the hutch it must be carefully supervised to make sure that it does not burrow or escape.

It is recommended that all pet rabbits be desexed.

Unwanted rabbits must not be released. Find a new home for the rabbit or take it to the RSPCA.

Sheep and Goats

The keeping of sheep and goats in residential areas is not recommended.

Animal Cruelty

Any person wishing to make a complaint about cruelty should be advised to contact the following:

  • RSPCA or phone 1300 278 358
  • Animal Welfare League or phone (02) 8899 3333
  • Local Police Stations - Ryde 9808 7499, Eastwood 9858 5944, Gladesville 9879 9699

  • Local vet clinic

The RSPCA website provides more information about proper care and management of dogs.

Acts of violence towards animals, neglect, psychological harm and failing to provide proper care for animals may be considered as forms of animal cruelty.  The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 is administered by the RSPCA and Animal Welfare League.

More Information

Contact Council’s Customer Service Centre on 9952 8222.

Last updated on 15 September 2016