South African dog owners can now be slapped with a R20,000 fine for disruptive barking. Dogs barking excessively is now classified as a form of environmental noise pollution that has been proven to impair mental health, disrupt hearing, interferes with spoken communication and disturbs sleep. It also leads to negative social behaviour and reactions of annoyance, according to a medical study.
Roy Bregman of Bregman Moodley Attorneys suggests that having a chat with the dog owner to notify them of the problem is the most sensible thing to do. It is then expected of the dog owner to investigate, or else… a dog owner that fails to address incessant barking is in contravention of noise control regulations under the Environmental Conservation Act. The South African Noise Control Regulations provide that no person shall allow an animal owned or controlled by him or her to cause a noise nuisance.
Step1: Written complaint to your local authority.
Step 2: Failure to comply with a written notice after the barking is declared a nuisance is an offence that could lead to a fine not exceeding R20,000 or to even imprisonment for up to two years, or to both.