Redland City Council is keen to debunk the myth that it plans to ban domestic dogs and cats on North Stradbroke Island (Straddie).
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said rumours that Council plans to change the local laws to ban dogs on the island were false.
“Council has no current plans to ban dogs on North Stradbroke Island (Straddie),” Cr Williams said.
“The recent discussions about banning dogs on Straddie were not initiated by Council and Council has not commenced any work to enact such a ban.
“Redland City Council has been actively working with key agencies on a coordinated response to domestic dog attacks on North Stradbroke Island (Straddie) wildlife.
“As part of that response, Council officers were invited to a meeting at which they were asked to hypothetically outline the process that would need to be undertaken to ban dogs on North Stradbroke Island.
“There are no Council plans to ban dogs on Straddie and any move to do so would require community support and a local law amendment following robust community engagement.
“Judging by recent feedback I doubt the broader community would support banning dogs on Straddie, but if other community groups believe there is community support for banning domestic pets on the island they are encouraged to engage the community and then present their findings.”
Division 2 Councillor for North Stradbroke Island Cr Peter Mitchell said while the misinformation around the proposed dog ban was unfortunate, it had created an opportunity to discuss an important topic.
“Council is participating in a cross-agency solution to protect the natural and cultural values of the island, with our priority being community education and awareness to encourage and promote responsible pet ownership,” Cr Mitchell said.
“Changes to local laws are only one option within a bigger strategy in helping protect people and wildlife on both the island and the mainland, and Council is focused on other actions to deal with the issue.
“Redland City Council regularly carries out patrols and responds to domestic dog-related reports on the mainland and areas of North Stradbroke and other islands in the City that are under Council jurisdiction.
“We also have a feral animal eradication program which protects the local environment by managing the population of feral animals across the island.
“Despite Council being a minority landowner on Straddie, our officers have been actively working with key agencies on a coordinated response to domestic dog attacks on wildlife on the island, and have ‘upped the ante’ recently in response to heightening community concerns.
“Our priority is to focus on the people who own the domestic animals and educate and build awareness of their obligations and responsibilities in keeping both people and wildlife safe.
“Council plans include developing and distributing educational material directly to households on North Stradbroke Island which sets out their obligations and responsibilities, as well as the impacts that straying dogs to have on human safety and wildlife.
Council is committed to working with all agencies to address this issue, and acknowledges the importance of our natural and cultural values of North Stradbroke Island and other areas in the City.