Do I need a licence to keep poultry?

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A licence/approval is not required to keep poultry, pigeons or parrots in the City of Swan. Consequently, the keeping of chickens is permitted in most areas within the City. However, there are some areas, such as Ellenbrook, where the developer chose to place restrictive covenants prohibiting the keeping of poultry within their development. If such a covenant exists on your property, you will not be permitted to keep chickens. Information about covenants placed on the property of title is available from Landgate.

Where the keeping of birds is permitted, they should be kept so they do not cause an unreasonable impact on neighbouring properties. Factors that may determine whether an unreasonable impact is created include:

  • proximity to buildings on neighbouring properties
  • poor maintenance/cleaning of enclosure
  • prevailing wind conditions.

In higher density areas (block sizes below 300 square metres) it may not be possible to keep any birds without unreasonable impact on neighbours. Experience has shown that it is possible to keep up to six birds on medium size landholdings with this number increasing with larger block sizes.

Where complaints are received, an investigation will be undertaken. Should it be established that a health nuisance is being created, enforcement action may be taken under the Health Act (1911). The owner may be directed to take such action as is necessary to abate the nuisance, such as cleaning or removal of the birds, and may also be subject to legal action. It is therefore in the owner's best interest to ensure any poultry are located as far away from neighbours as possible and that the enclosure is properly maintained at all times.

If in doubt, please call the City of Swan on 9267 9267.