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June 9, 2016 Written by: Glossop Town Planning

How Many Pigeons Can a Pigeon Keeper Keep?

It is not spelt out in any Planning Scheme (that we are aware of).  But planners should be aware that a planning permit is required to keep more than 100 racing pigeons on a residential property (in most cases).  This just needs to be remembered.

Why is a permit required?  In P490/2007 & P219/2007, the Tribunal found that the keeping of 100 racing pigeons on the land, in association with the use of the land for the purpose of a dwelling, constituted a hobby and was ancillary to the dwelling use.  The Tribunal has since followed this reasoning in a number of decisions concerning keeping of homing pigeons.  For instance, in Black v Stonnington CC [2012] VCAT 1659 the Tribunal said: Clause 62 of the  Planning  Scheme states that no permit is required to keep various animals including birds if they comprise part of the usual domestic activities of a dwelling. Notwithstanding that clause, the Tribunal has found that keeping more than 100 pigeons comprises an activity that is more intensive than being ancillary to a dwelling. It constitutes a separate use (animal husbandry).

Why keep pigeons?  Pigeon racing is a long established sport in Victoria and elsewhere.  Pigeon racing enthusiasts optimise the breeding, housing, feeding and training of pigeons for the best chances of racing success.  If you want to know more about pigeon racing, the various industry websites provide a wealth of information.