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Urban animals provide a slice of the good life

Urban animals provide a slice of the good life

A new Animal Management Bylaw comes into place tomorrow that supports a growing trend for sustainable living in Auckland’s urban backyards. Collecting fresh eggs from chickens outside your kitchen window is one way to embrace the good life.

The new bylaw allows residents to keep a number of poultry and explains how to apply for a licence to have stock animals in urban areas, as defined under the proposed Auckland Unitary Plan.

Max Wilde, Manager Bylaws and Compliance, says “More people want to keep poultry and other animals in urban backyards and the bylaw gives clear guidelines on responsible animal ownership, including any impact on close neighbours. Importantly, the bylaw promotes the welfare of all animals.”

The region-wide bylaw introduces a single approach to managing animals other than dogs, ensuring nuisance and risks to public health and safety are minimised. Guidelines and standards for managing bee hives and horse riding in public places are also included.

For residents wanting to keep animals, manage bee hives or ride horses in parks, the key aspects of the bylaw are:

Bees - responsible hive management standards and good practice guidelines aim to minimise common problems caused by bees including swarming and nuisance from bee excrement. A licence will be required for the keeping of bees on public land but not on private property.

Poultry and stock – Residents can keep up to the following number of poultry without a licence as long as it does not cause nuisance issues for neighbours:

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• Properties under 2,000 sqm: up to six chickens and six quail

• Properties between 2,000 – 4,000 sqm: up to 12 chickens or quail, six ducks, geese, and pheasants

• Stock animals require a licence for urban properties under 4,000sqm or 1 acre

• Where a licence is now needed, residents must apply within 12 months of the bylaw going live.

Horse riding - There are general guidelines for responsible horse riding which are in place to protect public health and safety and keep bridle trails and beaches in a good condition for other users.

School calf days - Keeping a calf or lamb for school and community pet days is a tradition in many rural communities and there is no need for a licence between June and November. Event organisers do need to register these events for free with the council.

The new bylaw will create a consistent approach to animal management across Auckland, but it does not cover animal welfare issues. The Animal Welfare Act does not give councils the powers to manage welfare issues. Other agencies, such as the SPCA and the Ministry for Primary Industries, work in this area.

The Animal Management Bylaw replaces 18 sets of regulations from former councils throughout the Auckland region and also revokes a clause relating to vehicle access on Karioitahi Beach, Franklin. The Public Safety & Nuisance Bylaw has had rules in place since May 2014 encompassing very limited use of vehicle access on all beaches across the region. Kariotahi will now fall under the jurisdiction of the Public Safety & Nuisance Bylaw however from 1 September a trial to permit vehicle access on this beach will begin. The free permits can be applied for online and will be valid for one year. For more information visitwww.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/beachaccess


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