The Dog and Cat Management Board (the Board) supports the desexing of companion dogs. Research indicates1 that desexing brings a number of benefits for dogs, dog owners, and the community. Desexed dogs are better behaved which creates a strong bond between the dog and owner. Desexed dogs have reduced reactivity, are less territorial, and are more sociable. Desexing companion dogs reduces incidences of wandering and aggression, which also reduces the risk of dog-related injury to people and other animals. Desexing prevents unwanted litters and reduces the likelihood that pets will be relinquished to shelters due to behavioural issues. This results in fewer dogs being euthanised. Desexed dogs will, on average, live longer and healthier lives, with a reduced risk of some cancers, and other diseases of the reproductive organs.
The Board recommends that all companion dogs are desexed. This approach will reduce incidences of dog aggression and the risk of dog attacks in our community. In any desexing arrangements, exemptions should be made e.g. for breeding stock, show dogs, working farm dogs, and where desexing presents a health risk determined by a veterinarian. The Board will continue to actively promote desexing as a key aspect of responsible dog ownership and educate the community to increase the number of desexed dogs in South Australia.
Gershman, K., Sacks, J., & Wright, J. (1994). Which dogs bite? A case-control study of risk factors. Pediatrics, 93(6): 913-917.
Goddard, ME (2010). Genetics of dog behaviour and breeding programs to improve canine welfare, Building Better Dogs Seminar, Monash University.
Overall, K., & Love, M. (2001). Dog bites to humans - demography, epidemiology, injury, and risk. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 218: 1923-1933.
Shuler, C., DeBess, E., Lapidus, J., & Hedberg, K. (2008). Canine and human factors related to dog bite injuries. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 22: 542-546.
The Dog and Cat Management Board (the Board) supports the desexing of companion cats. Research indicates1 that desexing brings a number of benefits for cats, cat owners, and the community. Desexed cats are better behaved which creates a strong bond between the cat and owner. Desexing improves cat temperament and reduces nuisance behaviour, such as spraying, vocalising, and wandering. Desexing companion cats leads to a reduced number of unwanted kittens in the community. Cats have the potential to become pregnant from 5 months of age. Therefore they need to be desexed or confined effectively (in a cat enclosure or kept indoors) to avoid unwanted pregnancy. Desexing cats reduces the number of unwanted litters from owned cats, many of which end up admitted to shelters and euthanised. Desexed cats have an increased life expectancy and improved health, with a reduced risk of certain cancers.
The Board recommends that all companion cats are desexed or if un-desexed, are confined effectively to avoid unwanted litters. In any desexing arrangements, exemptions should be made e.g. for breeding stock, show cats, and where desexing presents a health risk determined by a veterinarian. The Board will continue to actively promote desexing as a key aspect of responsible cat ownership and educate the community to increase the number of desexed cats in South Australia.
1 Denny, E & Dickman C (2010). Review of Cat Ecology and Management Strategies in Australia. A report for the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre.
Stubbs, W. P., & Bloomberg, M. S. (1995, February). Implications of early neutering in the dog and cat. In Seminars in veterinary medicine and surgery (small animal) (Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 8-12).
The Dog and Cat Management Board (the Board) supports mandatory microchipping of companion dogs and cats. Microchipping is the most effective form of permanent identification which imparts accountability on owners and breeders and assists the recovery of pets should they become lost or injured.
The Board will continue to promote the use of microchips in permanently identifying dogs and cats and the importance of keeping details current in an accredited registry.
The Dog and Cat Management Board (the Board) believes a commitment to positive reinforcement training is an aspect of being a responsible dog owner. The Board does not condone training methods that cause a dog to feel pain, fear, aggression or anxiety.
The Dog and Cat Management Board (the Board) recognises the importance of managing feral cats to reduce the threat they pose to native wildlife and to minimise the number of homeless cats which suffer starvation, disease and injury living in the wild. The Board supports the management of feral cat colonies in remote areas, provided it is done in the most humane manner practicable and that the methods used do not pose risks to the health and safety of domestic cats or other species.
Responsible cat ownership is central to reducing the impact domestic cats have on wildlife and ensuring pets do not contribute to the feral cat population. Any cat may transition from being a domestic pet to a stray cat to a feral cat.
The Board encourages cat owners to: