New laws for dog and cat owners and breeders will be introduced on 1 July 2017. The changes are designed to improve dog and cat management and welfare. The definition of a standard dog and cat is one that is both microchipped and desexed.
Under the changes to the Dog and Cat Management Act from 1 July 2018, all dogs and cats must be microchipped. All dogs and cats must be microchipped by 1 July 2018 (unless exempted). It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure their cat or dog’s microchip details are kept up to date, eg 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 acquiring the animal. The new mandatory desexing laws will not apply to dogs and cats owned before 1 July 2018.
Dogs aged over 3 months need to be registered and an owner must be over 16 years old.
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. Some exceptions to desexing apply such as threat to animal’s health or development, breeding animals and working livestock dogs. Anyone who breeds dogs and cats for sale must be registered with the Dog and Cat Management Board and adhere to new industry guidelines which stipulate minimum animal welfare conditions.
The requirement for mandatory microchipping will make it easier for councils to return lost dogs and cats to their owners, thereby reducing the number of unwanted or abandoned animals euthanised in shelters and pounds.
Dog registrations for 2017-18 are now due and should be renewed prior to 31 August. Renewal notices have been sent to current owners. If you have acquired a dog during the previous year you can download the registration form at www.yorke.sa.gov.au
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 (except where additional permits have been obtained).