Livestock and horses

The Animals Local Law 2017 (the local law) sets out the requirements for keeping livestock and horses in Brisbane.

Livestock

Livestock means any animal that can be farmed, whether kept for farming or domestic purposes. It includes any variants or miniatures of those animals. Examples of livestock include horses, cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, deer, poultry, emus, ostriches, peafowls and alpacas.

Under the local law, a permit is required if livestock is kept in a residential area, except a rural or rural residential area (as defined by the Brisbane City Plan 2014). A permit is not required if the keeping of the animal is authorised under a development approval issued by Council.

If you are in a residential area, you are encouraged to apply for a livestock permit before you purchase or otherwise acquire any livestock for your property. When you apply for a permit, Council may contact you within 20 working days to arrange an inspection of your property to determine the suitability of approving your application.

Residential area

Areas considered to be residential areas under the local law are areas lawfully used for accommodation activities under Brisbane City Plan 2014.

Accommodation activities currently include:

  • caretaker's accommodation
  • community residence
  • dual occupancy
  • dwelling house
  • multiple dwelling
  • non-residential workforce accommodation
  • relocatable home park
  • residential care facility
  • retirement facility
  • rooming accommodation
  • short-term accommodation
  • tourist park.

Chickens and poultry

Brisbane City Council regulations are in place to ensure you keep your birds in the best possible conditions. This is for the comfort of your birds and your neighbours.

Keeping poultry in a residential area requires a livestock permit with Council. There is no fee associated with the self-assessment process for keeping poultry, including chickens, for domestic purposes in Brisbane.

Number of birds

Household premises with a total area of:

  • more than 800 square metres can keep up to 20 poultry
  • less than 800 square metres can keep up to six poultry.

Keeping roosters in residential areas is prohibited.

Conditions for keeping poultry

If you are keeping poultry on your property you need to:

  • set back your poultry shed at least one metre from any dividing fence.
  • consider building a fox proof poultry pen
  • make sure your poultry shed will not cause a nuisance to your neighbours
  • keep conditions clean to prevent odour and fly breeding
  • ensure you keep or dispose of animals and animal waste in a manner that prevents a breeding place for pests
  • consider the risk to the health or safety of surrounding persons and animals
  • have a livestock permit for a residential area.

You do not need a livestock permit for keeping poultry in a rural or rural residential area.

Horses

Under the local law, a livestock permit is required for keeping a horse in a residential area, except in a rural or rural residential area. If the horse is used for racing then a racehorse permit is required instead. Where the keeping of an animal is authorised under a development approval issued by Council, a permit under the local law is not required.

Requirements for domestic horses

A domestic horse can be kept subject to the following conditions:

  • a horse must be kept behind a fence or in an enclosure which is adequate to prevent the animal from going over, under, through or otherwise escaping it
  • the keeping of a horse must not cause a nuisance of any kind to the occupiers of properties in the surrounding area
  • the number of horses kept must not negatively impact the ability of occupiers of surrounding properties to carry out the ordinary activities of the area and enjoy its amenity
  • the number of horses kept must not negatively impact the health or safety of people or other animals
  • food must be stored in vermin proof containers
  • the animals must be kept, and all waste disposed of, in a way that does not:
    • cause environmental harm
    • give rise to a breeding place for designated pests
    • cause a nuisance
    • cause a risk to the health or safety of a person or another animal
  • stables and yards must be kept in a clean and sanitary condition, free from vermin, fly and odour nuisance
  • all reasonable measures must be taken to prevent a dust nuisance to the occupiers of neighbouring properties
  • the keeper of a stallion must take all measures necessary to ensure that it is kept behind a secure fence which is adequate to prevent it from escaping or attacking any person or other animal.

Racehorse permits

Brisbane City Council regulates the keeping of racehorses under the Local Law.

When you need a permit

You must have a permit to keep a racehorse (including stabling) unless keeping the racehorse is authorised under a development approval issued by Council. If the keeping of racehorses is authorised by a development approval, a permit under the Local Law will not be required.

How to apply

Livestock permit

The keeping of livestock in a residential area requires a permit. You may be eligible for a self-assessable permit if you are able to meet the requirements stated in the application form. You do not need a permit to keep livestock on a property located in a rural or rural residential zone.

Permit application

To apply for a livestock permit, complete the Application for the Keeping of Livestock in a residential area online form. Note that the self-assessable application form does not apply to racehorses for which there is a separate form.

Alternatively, complete the hardcopy Keeping of Livestock Self-Assessment application (PDF - 91kb) and lodge it by:

  • visiting Council
  • mailing the form and cheque payment to:
    Brisbane City Council
    GPO Box 1434
    Brisbane QLD 4001.

Your application must be accompanied by the relevant fees at the time of lodgement.

If you do not meet the self-assessable criteria, you will be contacted within 20 working days to arrange an inspection of your property to determine the suitability of approving the permit application.

Racehorse Permit

Permit application

To apply for a racehorse permit, complete the Application for a permit to keep a racehorse online form.

Alternatively you can apply by completing the hard copy form and lodge it by

  • visiting Council
  • mailing the form and cheque payment to:
    Brisbane City Council
    GPO Box 1434
    Brisbane QLD 4001.

Your application must be accompanied by the relevant fees at the time of lodgement.

You will be contacted within 20 working days to arrange an inspection.

Renewals

Permit approvals are valid for 12 months. One month prior to the expiry of your permit, Council will send you a renewal notice via mail.

Amendment of permit condition(s)

A permit holder may request Council to amend the conditions of a permit. You can complete the Amendment of Permit Conditions online form if you wish to amend the condition(s) of your animal permit. Please be aware the application must be accompanied with the relevant fee.

Fees

Livestock other than Racehorses

The relevant fees for permits to keep livestock in residential areas (excluding poultry and chickens) are set out in the table below.

Table containing fees for keeping livestock in residential areas.

Fee type

Fee

Self-assessable permit fee

$84.90

Self-assessable permit fee – chickens and poultry

No fee

Application fee for full-assessment (includes first years permit fee)

$286.70

Annual permit fee (full-assessment applications only)

$175.35

Application to amend conditions of permit by the permit holder

$111.35

Racehorses

If a development approval is in place that approves the keeping of racehorses a permit is not required. The number of racehorses kept will determine the annual permit fee.

Table of fees for the keeping of racehorses.

Number of racehorses

Permit fee (GST exempt)

1-9

$293.35

10-14

$487.40

15-19

$584.45

20-24

$649.55

25 or more

$731.15

Application to amend conditions of permit by permit holder: $111.35

Permit Surrender

To surrender your permit, complete the licence or permit surrender application online form.

More information

The RSPCA provides useful information about keeping livestock including horses and their care.

For further information phone Council’s Business Hotline on 133 BNE (133 263), 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Last updated: 12 May 2021