Complaints about animals

Information on the complaint process

Complaints About Animals

What constitutes a complaint about an animal in Mitchell?

Legislation in Victoria sets out what your rights and responsibilities as an animal owner are; the Domestic Animals Act 1996 for dogs and cats, the Impounding of Livestock Act 1996 for livestock, and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 for all animals.

Under legislation there are many issues that can be dealt with by the Local Laws Unit.

Complaints made to Council may be for dogs or livestock wandering, dog attacks, barking dogs or nuisance cats, just to name a few. Links below provide helpful information in dealing with these issues.

If you have concerns about keeping your pet or animal content so that it doesn't become a nuisance to neighbours, ensure that, secure confinement, socialising, mental and physical stimulation and good welfare practices are undertaken for dogs and cats.

More information is available on these topics on the responsible pet ownership page.

Wildlife Queries

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) is the statutory authority with regard to wildlife e.g. kangaroos, emus, dingoes and possums. The DEPI can be contacted on 136 186.

Help for Wildlife

Wildlife emergencies can be directed to Wildlife Rescuers on 0417 380 687

  • Snakes - Issues regarding snakes should be directed to the DEPI as Council is unable to assist with snake removal. DEPI Customer Service line 136 186
  • European Wasps / Bees - Council cannot remove wasps/bees on private land. For nests on Council land, please contact Council on 5734 6200

Swooping Birds

Native birds fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI).

DEPI advises that the swooping season usually lasts for approximately 2 months from September to October each year and recommends people affected follow the tips available on their website.

You can also register locations on their online mapping page or download a 'Swoop Kit'.

Council can assist with signage on council-owned structures, if required. Contact our Customer Service Department on (03) 5734 6200.

Top 10 tips to protect yourself from swooping birds

(From the DEPI Website)

Swooping birds may be a frightening or even a dangerous experience. Native birds can swoop in urban and rural areas, in parks and gardens, along bike tracks and in school yards, or anywhere that birds are nesting.

1. Know your local swooping hotspots

Keep informed about parks, schoolyards and bike trails in your local area by reading your local newspapers, viewing Victoria’s ‘Magpie Map’ on or contacting your local council.

2. Avoid the area

The best way to protect yourself from a swooping bird, is to avoid venturing into their territory.

3. Move quickly

If you must pass through the area – move quickly – do not run.

4. Cover your head

Wear a hat or carry a stick or umbrella above your head. Cyclists should wear a helmet, dismount and walk through the area.

5. Eyes at the back of your head

Birds may be less likely to swoop if they think you are watching them. Draw a pair of  ‘eyes’ and attach to the back of hats and helmets. A printable set of ‘eyes’ is available to download on the DEPI website.

6. Do not harass wildlife

Don’t interfere with or throw stones at birds. This gives them added reason to see humans as a threat and may increase swooping behaviour.

7. Do not destroy nests

This may prompt birds to rebuild their nests, prolonging the swooping behaviour.

8. Don’t feed swooping birds

9. Travel in a group

If possible, try to travel in a group in areas where there are swooping birds.

10. Notify others

Put up warning signs for others who may not be aware that there are swooping birds in the area, or ask your council to do so. 

Mark a bird-swooping area on Victoria’s ‘Magpie Map’

Tweet @depi_vic with the location details and include #swoopvic

Send photographs of birds for the Swoop Flickr page. Email

For further information contact the DEPI by visiting




Links & Downloads Format Size
Mitchell Shire forms, applications and information relating to animal complaints:
pdf 1719 Kb
pdf 204 Kb
Further information relating to animal complaints:
pdf 647 Kb
Mitchell Shire Local Laws information:
pdf 2680 Kb