Birds and Other Animals

All animals must be kept in a manner that does not create a nuisance or a health risk to the surrounding community.

Common issues dealt with by Council's in relation to animals include:

  • Offensive odours
  • Noise nuisances
  • Unhealthy conditions causing pest and vermin issues.

These issues can be avoided by considering the type and number of animals which are suitable for your neighbourhood.

If complaints are received by Council are substantiated, Council will request that appropriate actions be undertaken to resolve the issue(s) identified.

Two key pieces of legislation which deal with these issues are:

  • Local Government Act 1993 and associated Local Government (General) Regulation 2005, which provides guidance to Council in the event that Council needs to serve orders to ensure animals are kept appropriately
  • the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and the associated State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008, which outline the requirements for approvals for certain types of animals and animal shelters.

The following guidelines for poultry, pigs, horses and cattle are based on the Local Government Act 1993 and regulations and are considered a good guide of what conditions reasonable for keeping these animals.

It should be noted that the following guidelines are only binding on the owner or occupier of premises in circumstances where Council has served an Order under Section 124 of the Local Government Act 1993 stating that they apply to the specific premises.


Chickens or guinea fowl must not be kept within 4.5 metres of a dwelling, public hall, school or any premise used for the manufacture, preparation, sale or storage of food.

Poultry such as ducks, geese, turkeys must not be kept within 30 metres of a dwelling, public hall, school or any premise used for the manufacture, preparation, sale or storage of food.

All poultry house floors must be paved with concrete or mineral asphalt unless the poultry house:

  • is not within 15.2 metres of a dwelling, public hall or school; or
  • is situated on clean sand.

Poultry yards must be fully enclosed to prevent escape.

In addition to these standards Council does not recommend the keeping of roosters in close proximity to other residences where they may create a noise nuisance.


Pigs must not pollute water supplied for use:

  • by a person for drinking or domestic purposes, or in a dairy.

Pigs must not be kept within 60 metres of a dwelling, shop, office, factory, church or other place of public worship, workshop, school or public place in a city, town, village or other urban part of an area.

Council may serve an order to increase the distance if it is considered necessary.

Horses and cattle

Horses and cattle must not be kept within 9 metres of a dwelling, school, shop, office, factory, workshop, church or other place of public worship, public hall or premises used for manufacture, preparation or storage of food.

Stable floors must be paved with concrete or mineral asphalt or similar impervious material and the floor must be graded to drain.

Yards used for the keeping of horses or cattle must be fully enclosed to prevent escape.

Impact on trees

You will need to get approval from Council if construction of the shelter requires pruning, cutting down, removal or the destruction of trees. For information please contact Council's Customer Enquiry Counter on 02 4974 2000.

Other animals

Specific requirements in relation to a few additional animals have been listed below. If you are looking to keep other types of animals not listed here other regulations or laws may apply.


Any person wishing to keep bees must be registered with The Department of Primary Industries.

The Department investigates complaints about nuisance bees. Any person inquiring about beekeeping or who wishes to make a complaint about nuisance bees should contact The Department of Primary Industries to report any problems.

A few things to remember

  • Ensure all food is stored in sealed containers
  • Ensure clean water is available at all times
  • Don't leave food or scraps lying around as this may attract rodents or vermin
  • Only put food in a clean tray and take the tray away overnight
  • Regularly clean out animal shelters, ensuring all waste is removed and disposed of appropriately
  • Take care not to wash waste products into adjoining properties or watercourses
  • Ensure the land is adequately fenced and cages are vermin and rodent proof
  • Provide adequate shelter from sun, rain and wind
  • Limit the animals kept to a manageable number
  • Avoid keeping roosters in residential areas as they are noisy animals and
  • Careful consideration should be taken to the placement of bird cages / aviaries. They should be located as far away from neighbouring residences as possible.

Further information

Please contact Council on 02 4974 2000.