Blacktown Council: Desexing impounded animals ‘illegal’

BLacktown Advocate; 28 JUN 12 PM BY BEN MCCLELLAN

John Carr believes it is illegal to desex impounded animals.

John Carr believes it is illegal to desex impounded animals

BLACKTOWN City Council’s mandatory desexing policy was hailed as the best way to cut down on the number of animals euthanised at its pound.

The motion passed unanimously in May, despite initial opposition from Mayor Alan Pendleton, but one dog lover claims it is illegal for the animals to be desexed.

John Carr wrote a lengthy submission to the council outlining why under the Impounding and Companions Acts it didn’t “own” the animals it impounded and therefore had no right to desex them.

Mr Carr, who worked at several councils in the animal control field, said desexing violated the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

“By desexing these animals prior to sale, I allege the council, and the veterinarians involved, are performing criminal acts and are leaving themselves open to litigation,” he said.

“Someone may choose to claim their animal between the period of it being on the operating table and prior to the sale.”

Mr Carr, who has seven pet dogs of his own, said the animals taken to the pound were protected under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and council shouldn’t do anything that would prevent them from being rehomed.

Blacktown Council has sought legal advice on Mr Carr’s claims and a spokeswoman said council was yet to receive that advice.

Mr Carr said council may sell or destroy an animal but had no legal right to desex it and the only way it could was with the consent of the owner, regardless of the time the animal had been in the pound.

“Any act that a council may do to an animal, which knowingly jeopardises its chance of a sale, is a cruelty offence,” Mr Carr said. “This would include the increased sale price.”

Original here



Filed under Council Pounds, Desexing, NSW

5 responses to “Blacktown Council: Desexing impounded animals ‘illegal’

  1. companionanimalnews

    Here they come, crawling out of the woodwork…

  2. The shire owns the dog after a specified period as defined by the relevent states legislation. In WA, Section 29 of the Dog Act (1976) states:

    (7) An officer of a prescribed body who is authorised by that body
    for the purpose may receive and keep dogs in any premises
    maintained by that body for the care of dogs and in respect to
    any such dog that officer has and may exercise all or any of the
    powers of an authorised person or a local government under this
    section including the powers of disposal and sale.

    (This means the dog is property of the Local Government that impounded it)

    Also in relation to the time the dog is held for:

    (8a) Where a dog is detained under subsection (5b) and, at the
    expiration of 7 days after the detention commenced no
    application has been made for an order for the destruction of the
    dog —
    (a) if the dog is wearing a registration tag or the owner is
    otherwise readily identifiable, an authorised person shall
    cause notice to be given to the owner in the prescribed
    manner and form as soon as is practicable after the
    expiration of that period of 7 days;
    (b) the dog shall be kept and maintained for a period of at
    least 72 hours next following —
    (i) where notice is given under paragraph (a), the
    giving of that notice; or
    (ii) where no such notice is required to be given, the
    expiration of that period of 7 days,
    but, subject to this section, shall be delivered up to a
    person who produces satisfactory evidence of ownership
    or of his authority to take delivery of it; and
    (c) the owner of the dog shall be liable to pay the reasonable
    cost of maintaining the dog during any period after the
    expiration of the period of 72 hours mentioned inparagraph (b) but otherwise the owner shall not be liable
    for any cost or charge in relation to the seizure,
    impounding, maintaining or return of the dog.

    (In other words, the owner doesnt come forward, in 3 days the dog has a new owner – the shire)

    So after reading all of that the following applies:
    * the dog is the property of the shire after 72 hours if unclaimed
    * the dog after 72 hours has a new owner – the shire
    * the dog can be sold to recover costs
    * the new owner legally (THE SHIRE) can desex the dog as it wishes.

    Ergo, as the owner of the dog, the crown, as any other member of the community can be responsibile for the welfare of the dog and have it desexed. Just like you and I can and have done.

  3. I’m sorry but the first question that pop’s into my head after reading the objection is “are you a backyard breeder John Carr?” I can not fathom why a member of the public including a self proclaimed “dog lover” would have any objections to this policy. For far too long backyard breeders have been treating the pound like their own one stop discount dog shop, and consequently the offspring of these animals end up in the pound. It is a vicious vicious cycle that this dog lover is happy to see might be brought to an end by this very policy. The AHF has a 2 week holding period for stray dogs and cats… That is a fair amount of time for an owner to reclaim their animal. And the animals do not get desexed until they have been sold and paid for which only happens after the holding period has expired… therefore the council does own the dog and has a right to enforce this… This is a good thing!

  4. Jan Baker

    Any sensible responsible animal lover & owner would say this is common sense….but obviously John Carr isn’t one of these people!!

  5. lesley


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