Approval to keep livestock and large animals

You may require planning approval to keep livestock or any large animal (e.g. horse, pony, alpaca, sheep, cow or other large animal) on your property. Keeping livestock and large animals must comply with State and local requirements. In most cases, keeping livestock and large animals will require planning approval to determine how many animals you can keep to ensure natural features are protected and the land is appropriately managed. 

How many animals you can keep is determined by factors such as your property size, zoning, soil type and recommended stocking rate. For example, keeping livestock is prohibited on any lot within the Rural-Residential Zone at a density exceeding the recommended stocking rate (as determined by the Department of Agriculture and Food). 

Keeping livestock or large animals may be prohibited in some areas. For example, where keeping of animals contributes (or is likely to contribute) to erosion, pollution or degradation of land or where it is otherwise specifically excluded by the Local Planning Scheme. 

Read more about the Department of Agriculture and Food’s Stocking Rate Guidelines for Small Rural Holdings.


Planning approval is required for boundary fences within the Rural-Residential Zone. All fencing within this Zone must be visually permeable, unobtrusive and sensitive maintaining the rural character and visual amenity of the area. Solid fencing such as corrugated fibro cement and iron is prohibited.

Refer to the Local Planning Scheme for further information on fencing and keeping livestock.

Stray livestock

Ensuring your livestock are adequately contained on your property is important for the safety of the community. Fences should be checked regularly to ensure stock remain confined.

Wandering livestock can create a serious public safety risk, particularly when they are on roads. Human lives have been lost from vehicle collisions with livestock on roads. Wandering livestock may also injure themselves, other animals they encounter, and cause damage to property.

Rangers can assist with the removal of stray stock on roads. To report wandering stock contact 

Rangers Services on (08) 9780 5695 or the Police on (08) 9757 8600.

When reporting please provide the following information:

  • Where the stock is located
  • What type of animal, other forms of identification (colour)
  • Approximate number of animals
  • The direction they are travelling

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