Dog Attacks and the Dog Control Act

​NRE Tasmania allocates significant resources to respond appropriately to dog attacks on little penguins, including:

  • swift deployment of officers to investigate reports of penguin deaths

  • undertaking associated compliance and surveillance programs where required

  • scheduling proactive patrols at key penguin sites to deter inappropriate behaviour and educate the community

  • working with local government to enhance penguin protection through local council dog management policies, including the management of dog-related activities on reserved land

  • ​an assessment and response protocol to appropriately and consistently manage animal welfare issues that may arise from large mortality events

The Dog Co​​ntrol Act 2000​

The Dog Control Act 2000 provides the legislative framework for the management of dogs in Tasmania. It primarily empowers the general managers of councils to enforce the provisions of the Act. The Government has recently strengthened this legislation. 

Dog Control Am​​​endment Bill 201​9​

The Dog Control Act 2000 now includes additional penalties for dog attacks on ‘sensitive wildlife’ in ‘sensitive areas’.

On 25 December 2019, the Minister declared little penguins to be ‘sensitive wildlife’. The Minister has also declared the following areas to be 'sensitive':

  • Low Head Promontory from Beach Road

  • Bicheno from the northern end of Rice Beach to the southern end of Dension Beach. Diamond Island and Governor Island are also included

  • Wynyard/Ulverstone from Don Heads to the eastern side of Lillico and continuing west to Burntwood Point

  • Stanley (all land north of the neck of the peninsula roughly half way between the Stanley Highway intersections with West Inlet Track and East Inlet Track)

If your dog attacks sensitive wildlife in a sensitive area you are guilty of an offence and a penalty of up to 30 penalty units applies if charged.

Existing p​​enalties still apply​​​

Penalties under the Dog Control Act that existed prior to these amendments still apply. Some of these offences include and attract the following penalties:

  • Dog at Large - up to 5 penalty units

  • Dog attacking animals - up to 20 penalty units

  • Dog attacking a person - up to 30 penalty units

  • Dogs found in or taken into a Council declared Prohibited Area – up to 20 penalty units

Currently 1 penalty unit = $168

*increased penalties apply to those dogs declared as dangerous dogs.

See the Dog Control Act 2000 for all penalties that apply to dog owners if they are guilty of an offence under the Act.

Sensitive ​​Areas - Maps​​​

​The Minister has declared the following 'sensitive areas'. These maps are also available as pdf documents.

Low Head Se​​​​n​​​sitive Area​​​

  Low Head Sensitve Area Map   (448Kb)

Bichen​​o​​​​​ Sensitive Area

  Bicheno Sensitive Area Map   (744Kb)

Bicheno Sensitive Area 

Wynya​​rd/Ulv​erstone Se​​​​​nsitive Area 1

  Wynyard Ulverstone Sensitive Area Map 1   (1Mb)

Wynyar​​d/Ulverstone Sensi​​tive Area 2

  Wynyard Ulverstone Sensitive Area Map 2   (2Mb)

Wynyard/Ulversto​​ne Sensitiv​e Area 3

  Wynyard Ulverstone Sensitive Area Map 3   (1Mb)


Stanle​y Sensitive​​ Area​

  Stanley Sensitive Area Map   (744Kb)


Wildlife Services

GPO Box 44,
HOBART, TAS, 7001.