Sunday, 1 July, marks the start of the biggest-ever shake-up in South Australia’s dog and cat management laws.
Changes include mandatory microchipping and desexing, compulsory breeder registration and the introduction of an online statewide dog and cat database.
The new laws will increase the number of lost dogs and cats returned to their owners, promote responsible pet ownership, reduce the number of unwanted animals ending up in shelters, and improve council services for dog and cat owners.
Dog and Cat Management Board Chairperson Felicity-ann Lewis said these four major changes to dog and cat management in South Australia were bigger even than the introduction of dog registration more than a century ago.
“We’ve had strong support for the changes,” Dr Lewis said.
“The consultation process to get to today was long and thorough, stretching back to 2014 and including public consultations and close liaison with breeders, councils, the RSPCA, the Animal Welfare League and vets.
“While these changes to legislation will help in the fight against irresponsible breeders and puppy farms, the onus remains on buyers to be vigilant to make sure they are buying pets from reputable breeders and sellers.
“If you have any information about illegal puppy farms or the mistreatment of animals, call RSPCA South Australia’s 24-hour cruelty hotline on 1300 477 722.”