The Companion Animals Act 1998 and the Companion Animals Regulation 2018 provide for the identification and registration of dogs and cats, how they are managed and the duties and responsibilities of their owners in New South Wales.
Both Acts are NSW state law, and came into effect on 1st July 1999 and 31st August 2018 respectively. Yearly registration with the local council is no longer available.
Registering your Pet
- Registration is a 2-step process:
- Implantation of a microchip (by your vet)
- Payment of a registration fee (to the council)
- ALL dogs must be microchipped by 12 weeks of age, and lifetime registered by 6 months of age. Pups to be sold or given away before 12 weeks of age must be microchipped prior to sale.
- Any cat born, sold or given away must be microchipped and lifetime registered immediately.
- ALL DOGS must wear a collar and identification tag.
- The lifetime registration fees are a one-off payment for the life of the pet. Registration fees are available below or on the Office of Local Government website.
What is a Microchip?
- A microchip is a small electronic device placed under the skin for identification purposes.
- It has major advantages over other forms of identification. Unlike a tag or collar, it can’t be removed, can’t fade and can’t be lost.
- All pounds and vets now have microchip scanners, so in most cases, a stray or injured animal can be quickly identified, its owner contacted, and any necessary treatment can be started without unnecessary delay.
- The microchip is quickly and simply implanted with a needle. Sedation or anaesthesia is not required.
- The chip is only a little bigger than a grain of rice, and is encased in glass polymer so it causes absolutely no irritation. The chip is designed to prevent it moving from the site where it was implanted.
- The only information on the chip is a number. This number is recorded on a central computer registry, along with all details about the pet and its owner.
- Microchips are for identification only. They are not tracking devices.
- The regulations state that all microchips implanted in NSW must be of the ISO-standard type. However, any animal already implanted with one of the older chip types can still be registered in NSW. They do not need to get a new microchip.
- All council pounds, and all vets implanting microchips, must have a multi-scanner that will read all existing microchip types.
Microchips can only be implanted by a certified professional to ensure they are correctly located and to prevent the risk of infection. Once the chip has been inserted it is scanned to ensure it can be read by the microchip reader and the owner provided with a certificate to take to the council when you register your pet. This satisfies all legal requirements.
Contact us to book in a microchip implantation for your pet. Remember implantation does not include council registration, which must be paid directly to the council.
- As at 1 July 2019, lifetime registration fees (to be paid to the council) are $210 but this is reduced to $58 if the pet is desexed, or owned by a registered breeder. Pensioners pay only $25, providing the pet is desexed. Refer to the Office of Local Government website for up to date fees.
- If you are not intending to breed your pet, then we strongly recommend desexing. And if you desex your dog before registration, it will save you money!
All dogs are required to wear a collar and identification tag when out of their home. This must include the dog’s name, your address and/or telephone number.
Any cat that you owned prior to 1st July 1999 must either be microchipped OR wear a collar and identification tag.
We can provide high-quality, machine-engraved pet tags in solid brass, coloured plastic or stainless steel.
Other features of the Companion Animals Act (CAA)
- The CAA was designed to assist authorities in returning lost and injured animals to their owners, and provides NSW councils with a more effective means of keeping track of dogs and cats for the benefit of the wider community.
- There are fines for letting your dog out without being on a lead, and for allowing your dog to become a nuisance.
- There are special rules and higher penalties for dangerous dogs and restricted breeds.
- Cat owners must make sure that their cat does not cause a nuisance to their neighbours.
- Failure to comply with any of the rules carries penalties which are outlined on the Office of Local Government website.
Further information about microchips, registration and the Companion Animals Act and Companion Animals Regulation can also be found at the following locations:
- Ask us for a brochure or talk to us next time you’re in.
- Contact the Office of Local Government or your local council.
- Companion Animals Page at the Office of Local Government Web Site
- Companion Animals Act 1998 at the NSW Government Legislation Web Site
- Companion Animals Act 2018 at the NSW Government Legislation Web Site
By Macarthur Veterinary Group