Barking is a normal and reasonable behaviour in dogs. A dog that barks occasionally when genuinely alarmed can alert the owner and neighbours but excessive barking is unreasonable and unacceptable. The continual barking of poorly cared for or poorly trained dogs can be a nuisance to people living nearby.
If you are annoyed by the noise from your neighbour’s dog there are a number of things you can do. First, try to solve the problem by talking it over with your neighbour. They may not have realised that their dog is causing a problem, particularly if it happens when there is nobody at home. They may be happy to do what they can once they know of the problem.
You may also consider seeking assistance from the Dispute Resolution Centre which was established to deal with disputes between neighbours. The Centre will provide professional assistance and advice at no cost in the mediation of nuisance complaints. Around 90% of mediations result in an agreement between the parties. The mediation process, while perhaps not suitable for all people, or all disputes, is undoubtedly successful in resolving a wide range of disputes speedily and inexpensively.
To contact the Dispute Resolution Centre call 1800 017 288.
If the matter is still not resolved, you can make a complaint to Council’s Health Services Section. A diary sheet will be provided to you for recording barking incidents over a 14-day period. This written record is required should evidence be required for any subsequent court action. A letter is sent to the owner of the dog advising of a complaint of a barking nuisance and providing information to assist them in solving the problem. Once the diary sheet is returned to the Council, a Council Officer may conduct site visits, based on the information and times provided, to determine if a noise nuisance exists.
If the officer determines that the noise, by barking or otherwise, results in a significant disturbance, inconvenience or annoyance to a person’s enjoyment of premises on which they ordinarily reside, then the animal owner/s can be served with a compliance notice and fine.
Mynas are mainly a problem for biodiversity conservation in that they displace other birds and small mammals. They compete aggressively with many native wildlife species for nesting hollows. They are also reported as being noisy, smelly and annoying by the public. They also pose a potential health risk to humans by nesting in the roofs of houses where an accumulation of droppings and mites provide ideal conditions for disease.
Indian Peafowl cause significant noise disturbances to homes and compete with native wildlife for essential habitat. The birds create traffic hazards, their droppings are unpleasant and they are known to scratch up neighbouring garden beds. If you chose to keep peafowl, you are required to maintain a prescribed enclosure that is a cage or an aviary which: is constructed so as to be capable of preventing the animal from escaping the enclosure; is not within 20 metres of any residence on an adjoining premises, or within two metres of any boundary of the adjoining premises. Wild peafowl are considered to be feral.
For most of the year, the Australian Magpies are wonderful neighbours. Many enjoy their carolling song. Magpie pairs breed in spring (August to October) and their natural behaviour is to defend the territory around their nesting site. This may result in magpies swooping people, pets or other birds and animals they perceive as a threat to their nest. However, only some birds see people as a threat. Most will not swoop you. Swooping occurs for around six weeks, starting when the adult pair is nesting and concluding when the young leave the nest.