DOG LAW REFORM

Submission to the Government during its
Review of the Dog Control Act 2000


TOPIC: Defining Nuisance Barking



Humans have extremely wide variations in their noise tolerance thresholds
and we well know that one person's “music” another person's torment

The detrimental health effects of invasive noise can be greatly exacerbated by the recipient's
inability to control it in any way

Setting a standard that universally covers all barking nuisances seems practically impossible,
yet councils persistently call for such a definition in order to refer a huge range of noise
conditions to it for enforcement purposes

The courts prefer clear definitions to keep things simple

To help decide this issue, we can examine section 53 of Tasmania's Environmental Management
and Pollution Control Act 1994
in relation to general Noise Nuisance



53. Offence of causing environmental nuisance

      (1) A person who wilfully and unlawfully causes an environmental nuisance is guilty of an
offence.
Penalty: Fine not exceeding 300 penalty units.
      (2) A person who unlawfully causes an environmental nuisance is guilty of an offence.
Penalty: Fine not exceeding 100 penalty units.
      (3) Where an offence under subsection (1) or (2) is constituted by the emission of noise
that is not an emission specified in an environment protection policy to be an environmental
nuisance, the emission is to be taken to unreasonably interfere with a person's enjoyment of
the environment if it is unreasonable having regard to –
(a) its volume, intensity or duration; and
(b) the time, place and other circumstances in which it is emitted; and
(c) in the case of noise emitted from residential premises, whether it can be heard in a
habitable room in any other residential premises.
"habitable room" means any room other than a storage area, bathroom, laundry, toilet or
pantry;
"residential premises" means any building or part of a building lawfully used as, or for the
purposes of, a private residence or residential flat.

Recommended:

1. That the EMPCA's definition of invasive noise in s53 (3c) be copied into the Dog Control Act
2000 as the definition of what constitutes unacceptable nuisance barking.