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Animals and Bees Bylaw review

Over the last 12 months we've been looking at the city's rules for keeping animals, bees, and poultry. In May 2018 Council adopted a new bylaw that allows residents to own animals in a responsible way while minimising impacts on neighbours and protecting public health and safety.

The new Animals and Bees Bylaw came into effect on 1 July 2018. Here is an overview of the key changes:


Council has made it mandatory to microchip your cat, and register the microchip with the New Zealand Companion Animals Register. It is also mandatory to desex cats older than six months. These new requirements only apply to cats born after 1 July this year. Cat owners are responsible for the cost of these procedures. If you're a registered cat breeder you are exempt from having to desex cats kept for breeding purposes.

There are no changes to the number of cats you can keep in the urban area (set at three cats) and if you want to keep more, you'll need a permit from Council.


The bylaw allows people to keep roosters in Ashhurst, Bunnythorpe, Linton and Longburn, or if the owner of the rooster holds a valid permit issued under this bylaw. This means that if you want to keep a rooster in the urban area of Palmerston North, you need a permit from the Council.

You're able to keep other types of poultry such as hens, pigeons and ducks, provided they're housed in accordance with the rules in the bylaw.


Keeping stock in the urban area is allowed as long as you meet the conditions outlined in the bylaw. A new condition has been added that states stock should have an adequate and appropriate living environment for their species, including owners providing for their companionship, space, shelter and shade needs.


No changes were made to the rules for pig keeping – this means you can only keep pigs in the rural area.


A new requirement has been added to the part of the bylaw on urban bee-keeping that states that apiaries must be registered under the Biosecurity Act 1993 and the Biosecurity (National American Foulbrood Pest Management Plan) Order 1998.

Administration manual

We've adopted a new manual to guide the implementation and operation of the bylaw. This provides guidance for people wanting to keep more than three cats, or more beehives than stated in the bylaw, and for any other bylaw contraventions.