If you’re a dog or cat owner, breeder or seller, changes to South Australia’s laws will affect you. These changes, which include new requirements for microchipping, desexing and breeder registration, are being phased in over the next 18 months, with new standards and guidelines for breeders and sellers taking effect from August 2017.
What follows is a handy overview of the changes that affect you.
From 1 July 2017, many fines and expiations for irresponsible dog and cat owners will increase.
These tougher penalties, along with increased council powers to investigate and prosecute offenses, including the ability to seize evidence and compel owners to give their name and address, will help address the problem of dog attacks, and remind owners of their legal responsibilities.
What follows is an example of how the new penalties compare to the old fine structure. Additional fines will take effect in mid 2018 when rules regarding microchipping, breeder registration and desexing begin.
Allowing a dog to harass, attack or chase another person or animal:
Dog wandering at large
Excessive dog barking
Failure to register your dog
Transporting unrestrained dogs on the tray of vehicles (exemptions apply)
From 1 July 2018, it will be compulsory for:
These changes are designed to increase the likelihood of lost or impounded dogs and cats being reunited with their owners, and reduce the number of unwanted and abandoned litters euthanised in pounds and shelters.
While the new desexing requirement only affects dogs and cats born after 1 July 2018, all dogs and cats must be microchipped by this date.
Microchipping is a safe and permanent way to identify your dog and cat. The procedure is quick, with no ongoing discomfort and can only be carried out by a trained, authorised implanter. Discount microchipping days are offered throughout the state at various times of the year. Visit chipblitz.com for more details.
There are also new rules for breeders and sellers, including:
A new requirement for dog and cat sellers to provide certain information in advertisements and to the buyer.
Councils play a vital role in dog and cat management in your community. They are responsible for registration, collection and return of stray dogs and cats and investigating complaints of barking or dog attacks.
For this reason, councils will now have greater powers under the revised laws, including increases in some expiations and penalties.
There are also changes to who can accredit assistance animals.
From 1 July 2018, dog and cat registration, along with the way you manage your pet dog or cat’s microchip, health and breeder information, will be simplified with the introduction of a new website.
Dogs and Cats Online (DACO) will be the central point for all your dog and cat management payments and information, replacing the 68 individual council systems and private microchip databases currently in place.
Not only will DACO simplify your dog or cat management needs, but it will streamline the process for councils, vets and animal welfare agencies too, giving these organisations instant access to information from around the state. This will help them reunite you and your lost dog or cat quicker.
As of 2017, dog registration in South Australia has been simplified. Your dog now falls under one of these two simple categories.
These changes have been made to streamline registration categories throughout the state. Speak to your council about what rebates might apply to you.
Established in 1995 under The Dog and Cat Management Act, the Dog and Cat Management Board is the only statutory board of its kind in Australia and works closely with key partner organisations and the State Government to improve dog and cat management in South Australia.
Using its research and expertise the Board has ensured that South Australia’s regulatory and legislative framework has been reviewed and amended to improve the management of dogs and cats in South Australia.
The Board was a key driver of the reforms soon to be introduced, and will take a proactive role in their application, including the new requirement for breeders to be registered, and in the roll-out of DACO.