Dog Attacks and the Dog Control Act

​​​​​​​DPIPWE 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 Control 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 Amendment 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 penalties 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 Sensitive Area​​​

  Low Head Sensitve Area Map   (448Kb)

Bicheno​​​ Sensitive Area

  Bicheno Sensitive Area Map   (744Kb)


​Wynya​​rd/Ulverstone Sensitive Area 1

  Wynyard Ulverstone Sensitive Area Map 1   (1Mb)

Wynyar​​d/Ulverstone Sensitive Area 2

  Wynyard Ulverstone Sensitive Area Map 2   (2Mb)

Wynyard/Ulversto​​ne Sensitive Area 3

  Wynyard Ulverstone Sensitive Area Map 3   (1Mb)


Stanle​y Sensitive Area​

  Stanley Sensitive Area Map   (744Kb)


Wildlife Management
Level 5, 134 Macquarie Street, Hobart
GPO Box 44
Phone: 03 6165 4305

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