Keep our furry friends in bars in Melbourne, Victoria

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Recently, the City of Maribyrnong banned dogs from Bar Josephine, one of Footscray's fantastic dog-friendly bars. They claim that this is state law - however - Victorian state law mandates that dogs are allowed into outdoor dining areas at the discretion of venue owners. These amendments were brought into force in 2012 (see Victorian Food Act 1984, Bulletin 20, Advice to Councils) There is no mention of banning dogs in areas that are not DINING areas (i.e., where food is not served). Bar Josephine does not serve food on-site, hence reliance on the Food Safety Act for the council's determination appears to be spurious.

There are limited health and safety reasons for disallowing dogs from bars, or food serving areas (note: this excludes food preparation areas).

The city of Maribyrnong appear to be extrapolating from extant legislation and are  discriminating against pet owners who wish to spend time with their pets outside the home. We ask that they lift this ban on dogs at Bar Josephine, and that other councils in Victoria  support the rights of pet owners to safely continue to spend time with their dogs outside the home.