New laws for dog and cat owners and breeders were introduced on 1 July 2017. These changes are designed to improve dog and cat management and welfare and are a result of years of planning and public consultation. The new legislation states that a Standard dog is one that is both microchipped and desexed whilst a non-standard dog is not both microchipped and desexed.
As from 1 July 2018, all dogs and cats must be microchipped. The requirement for mandatory microchipping will make it easier for councils to return lost dogs and cats to their owners, reducing the number of unwanted or abandoned animals euthanised in shelters and pounds.
Under the changes to the Dog and Cat Management Act, dog and cat owners face strict new requirements. Almost all of dogs and cats must be microchipped by 1 July 2018. After this date, all dogs and cats must be microchipped:
- By three months of age; or
- Within 28 days of the owner taking possession; or
- At the end on an extension period
It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure their cat or dog’s microchip details are kept up to date, i.e. when they move house.
As from 1 July 2018, all dogs and cats must be desexed by 6 months of age, or within 28 days of acquirement. Desexing must be performed by a registered veterinary surgeon.
The new mandatory desexing laws will not apply to dogs and cats owned before 1 July 2018.
Mandatory desexing is being introduced to cut down on the number of unwanted litters being abandoned and euthanised in pounds and shelters. Desexing also has a range of health and behavioural benefits, including a reduced risk of cancers, reduced aggression or roaming urges in dogs and a reduction in antisocial behaviours, like spraying in cats.
Exceptions to desexing
A vet may issue a certificate to exempt a dog or cat from microchipping or desexing if;
- Desexing would pose an undue risk to health
- Desexing would adversely affect the growth, development or wellbeing.
Exemptions can be permanent or for a specified period (not exceeding 18 months), at the end of which, it is the responsibility of the owner to have the animal desexed.
Working Livestock dogs and dogs with registered breeders are exempt from compulsory desexing.
Sale of dogs and cats
As from 1 July 2018, breeders and sellers who breed dogs and cats for sale must register with the Dog and Cat Management Board as a Breeder.
- Breeders and sellers must now adhere to new industry standards and guidelines, which stipulate the minimum welfare conditions that must be met to comply with the state’s animal welfare laws. For more information, visit the animal welfare section of www.environment.sa.gov.au
- A new requirement for dog and cat sellers to provide certain information in advertisements and to the buyer
- All dogs over the age of 3 months need to be registered.
- You must be over the age of 16 years to have a dog registered in your name.
- Dog registrations expire on 30 June each year and must be renewed by 31 August.
- If your current registration tag becomes lost or damaged, a replacement tag is available from any Council office for a fee or $2. It is an offence for any dog to be outside of its private premises without wearing the registration tag.
- Pursuant to Council’s by-laws, the maximum number of dogs allowed to be kept in a township is one dog for a small dwelling and two dogs for premises other than a small dwelling. Outside of a township the maximum number of dogs allowed on private premises is three. A permit can be obtained from Council to keep extra dogs pursuant to the by-law.
Registration Fee Schedule
Standard dog $40 (Desexed and microchipped)
Non Standard dog $80
Livestock Working Dog $40
Desexed Dog (2017/2018 only) $40
Assistant Dog Free (Must be endorsed by the Dog and Cat Management Board.)
Concession 50% of payable fee (Working dogs are not subject to a concession.)
Transfer fee from another Council $5
Replacement Disc $2
Late Registration renewal Fee $20 (if renewal paid after 31 August)
Puppies under 3 months of age at 1 January 2018 50% discount on total fee payable
Dog impounding fees if impounded during normal working hours $70
Dog impounding fees if impounded out of normal working hours $110
Daily pound charge for dogs $20
These forms are also available from all Council offices.
Please note that all forms submitted must be accompanied by payment.
Expiation fees also apply for failing to have your dog registered or for various dog attacks or related incidents. For more information please contact a Council office during office hours or in the case of an emergency Council’s Dog and Cat Management Officer can be contacted on 0428 847 771.
What to do if a dog attacks
After a dog attack, you should seek medical or veterinary treatment as a priority.
When safe to do so, you must report the attack to the relevant council where the attack occurred. You can contact our animal management team on 8832 0000 during normal working hours or if the incident occurs afterhours contact can be made by phoning 0428 847 771.
Like all serious incidents, time is a critical factor in dealing with dog attacks. This is especially important if the offending dog is wandering at large and still poses a risk to the public or other animals. To help council investigators, please try to gather the following information before contacting us:
- the date, time and exact location of the attack. If you’re not sure, use your GPS equipped smart phone to check on a map
- a description of the offending dog – registration disc, name tag, breed, colour, sex, markings, collar size and colour
- a description of the owner – name, address, contact phone number, male or female, age, hair colour, clothing
- if a car was involved and the offender drove away with the dog – car registration number, make, model, colour
- a description and photographs of any injuries and location on your body or your pet’s body.
You should also keep copies of any medical certificates, vet or doctor bills as evidence.
Preventing dog bites
Dogs bite for many reasons. The most common reasons are fear, pain or confusion when mixing with people and other dogs. Ignoring signs of aggression can result in serious injury to you, a member of your family or others. You can discourage biting by:
- socialising your dog from an early age so that it learns how to mix with other dogs and other people in public
- avoiding situations that may cause your dog to become nervous or anxious
- training your dog – obedience classes help you learn about your dog, its body language and how you can communicate with it
- desexing your dog. Research shows that, on average an entire dog is more aggressive. Note that desexing any dog that comes into your care will be mandatory from the 1 July 2018 (with some exemptions).
- asking your vet for advice if your dog shows any signs of aggression towards people.
For more information on being a good dog owner, visit the Dog and Cat Management Board website