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Dunedin City Council – Kaunihera-a-rohe o Otepoti
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Keeping other animals

If your neighbours are disturbed, they may lodge noise or nuisance complaints with us. If we find that complaints are justified, we may require the removal of some or all of the animals from your property and any remedial works necessary to abate the nuisance.

General guidelines for keeping animals

Do not choose animals that make a lot of noise or are unsuitably large for a residential site.

Keep any buildings that house animals clean. This will help reduce the risk of nuisance conditions arising through odour, flies or vermin.

Store food so that vermin cannot reach it. If you do notice vermin, you need to remedy the problem immediately by blocking their access and laying bait.

Contain animals within your own property to prevent fouling and damage to other properties. Straying or wandering animals may be impounded, resulting in a fine or, if not collected, the sale or destruction of the animal.

Building requirements

All buildings for housing animals must be of sound construction, vermin proof and must comply with all building bylaws. The interior surfaces should be constructed of readily cleanable materials. A concrete floor is preferable and any liquid floor washing or floor drainage must be disposed of in an approved manner.

You may need a building consent. You must apply for this BEFORE you start construction. All neighbours that may be affected should also be consulted and their verbal or written approval obtained before construction.

  • Bees and Wasps


    Keeping of bees in residential areas is an activity that needs to be carried out in an informed and careful way, to minimise the risks to people getting stung. If you wish to keep bees in residential area we recommend you view the Apiculture New Zealand for advice and assistance.

    We will respond to complaints where bees might be causing any nuisance or danger.

  • Roosters and Chickens


    We frequently receive complaints about roosters crowing. They are generally not suitable for keeping in residential areas.

    Guidelines for locating chicken coops

    The location of chicken coops can be very important for minimising potential nuisance to neighbours. When locating a chicken coop, owners should consider how this may affect their neighbours and locate the coop in a place that is least likely to cause a nuisance. Placing it right up against neighbouring properties or near outdoor living areas has the potential to cause a nuisance, as hens can be noisy when they lay and there is a risk of chicken coops becoming smelly in the summer months.

    Chicken coops should also be located on well-drained land as standing water will promote public health risks.

    Guidelines for keeping chicken coops clean

    Keeping chicken coops clean is important for minimising potential smells and minimising health problems for both chickens and people. Chicken coops should be thoroughly cleaned out at least once a week. Nesting boxes and the floor of any chicken coop should be kept clean and dry and lined with hay, wood chips (untreated), sawdust, or shredded newspaper so that it can be easily removed when cleaned out. Chicken owners have an obligation under the Animal Welfare (Layer Hens) Code of Welfare 2012 to provide good quality litter material that is free from toxic contaminants. This lining should be removed often and cleaned out as appropriate. In addition, egg nests should not be positioned beneath elevated perches as this can lead to excrement dropping on eggs.

    Preventing vermin

    Owners should not allow excess food and chicken bedding waste to accumulate on their property. This is because it can start to smell, provide somewhere for flies to breed, mice to shelter and may attract rats looking for food. Owners should make sure the waste is regularly gathered up, bagged and disposed of appropriately.

    Scattering food across the ground can often lead to the attraction of rats and mice, and should be scattered only for the purpose of immediate consumption. Owners will get more control by using vermin proof receptacles specifically for poultry feeding, which also keep out the rain, providing chickens with good access to dry pellets or grain. Once vermin realise there is an accessible food supply, they will continue to return, leaving excrement that can contaminate chicken feed and water. Owners would also be exposing themselves and their neighbours to the diseases that rats and mice carry in their excrement.

    Owners need to ensure they do as much as possible to keep the area in and around a chicken coop clean.

    For further advice on the keeping of animals refer to the SPCA website.

  • Cats


    We recommend that no more than three adult cats be kept on a residential property.

    Female cats can become pregnant from a very young age (around 6 months) and may produce several litters of kittens in a breeding season. It is a good idea to desex all cats at around 20 weeks (5 months) to prevent unwanted litters. Desexing may also reduce unwanted anti-social behaviours, such as yowling, spraying and cat fighting. An un-neutered female in an urban area could be responsible for thousands of unwanted kittens in her lifetime.

    It's not only dogs that should be microchipped, there are huge benefits from microchipping your cat as well. Cats that are microchipped can be easily returned to their owner if they become lost or separated.

    Your vet or the SPCA can provide more advice on desexing and microchipping.

  • Rodents

    We are often asked for advice on the control of rodents but you may prefer to employ a professional exterminator. These are listed in the Yellow Pages under Pest Control.

    Rats and mice are a nuisance. They are known to damage food and property and are responsible for spreading disease either:

    • directly - by contaminating food and belongings with urine and droppings (eg Salmonellosis and Leptospirosis)
    • indirectly - by their fleas and mites (eg the plague and typhus)

    They are mostly nocturnal animals and are rarely seen during the day. Droppings, gnawings, burrows or tracks will alert you to their presence.

    Mice tend to live inside where it is warm and dry and rarely stray more than a few metres from their nest. They prefer to feed on grains, cereals and other dry goods.

    Rats generally nest outside under buildings, in piles of debris or in overgrown parts of the section. They range further than mice and will feed on almost anything including meat, fish and rubbish.

    Both creatures are incredibly agile and can climb most vertical surfaces, leap across wide spaces, swim very well and squeeze through very small gaps - just 12mm wide.

    Rodent control

    Always wear rubber gloves when disposing of dead rodents whether poisoned or killed in a trap. Dispose of their bodies in an appropriate manner.

    Rodents can usually be controlled by baiting or trapping. However, to effectively control rodent problems you must also deprive them of:


    • Ensure your home is rodent proof
    • Seal holes around pipes into buildings
    • Seal gaps under and around doors Repair holes in wall cladding
    • Repair broken windows
    • Cover air vents with fine wire mesh

    Food and water

    • Ensure your property is clean and hygienic
    • Remove food scraps
    • Remove water sources such as leaking pipes, old tyres, pots that collect rainwater
    • Remove rubbish immediately or store in containers with secure lids
    • Never leave uneaten pet food out overnight

    A home

    • Ensure your property is clear of potential nesting sites
    • Discard unused newspapers and other junk or store it neatly at least half a metre off the ground
    • Bury compost in the garden
    • Clear overgrown parts of your section


    Poisoned bait is available from garden or hardware shops. Follow all instructions and warnings and always wash your hands thoroughly after handling it.

    Tips to remember when using bait:

    • Place the bait where the rodents are active, such as in the ceiling cavity, under the floor, in the garage...
    • Always put bait out of reach of children and pets.
    • Make a bait box - put the bait under an upside down (ice cream) container with small holes cut in opposite sides for the rodents to gain entry, and a weight on top to stop it blowing away or being knocked over. A length of 80mm or 100mm drainpipe also makes a simple bait box for outside.
    • Leave bait down for at least two weeks after the rodents seem to be gone
    • For mice, which only nibble at food, put down several lots of bait close together to make sure they eat enough of it.


    If you don't want to use poison, traps work well with mice. Rats are a little more cunning and tend to avoid traps.

    Traps are best located in areas such as burrow entrances or along their track ways. You need to check them daily and reset those that have been successful.

  • Stock and impounded stock

    What counts as stock?

    Stock includes horses, asses, mules, cattle, deer, alpacas and small animals, sheep, goats, pigs

    Goats, horses, sheep and pigs

    These animals are likely to attract flies and vermin, and result in offensive odours. Keeping them in residential areas is generally not appropriate.

    We keep details of all impounded stock in our Animal Impounding Register. The Impounding Register can be viewed at the Animal Control office.

    Impounded stock

    If your animal is not listed, we can add it as a lost animal. You can also check with the SPCA.

    If we have your animal in impound, you can come and check it is actually yours before paying any fees due. You have to pay any fees before we can release the animal to you. Your receipt becomes your release certificate. You will also need to arrange a collection time with us.

    Directions to Dunedin Stock Impound

    Turn left off George Street onto Duke Street. This will become Malvern Street. Travel approximately 1.6km to 174 Malvern Street. When you see a playground, you will find the stock impound paddock across the road.

    You can view a map of Directions to Dunedin Stock Pound from the related information section below

    Directions to Mosgiel Stock Impound

    From Gordon Road, turn into Bush Rd and then right into Carlyle Rd (5th on right). The pound is on the left at the old yards.

    You can view a map of Directions to Mosgiel Stock Pound from the related information section.

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