Dog and cat reforms – legislative changes

Amendments to the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 were passed in Parliament on 6 July 2016.

These amendments were based on recommendations made by the Dog and Cat Management Board, the Local Government Association of South Australia, the 2015 Citizens’ Jury on Reducing Unwanted Dogs and Cats and the 2013 Select Committee on Dogs and Cats as Companion Animals.

The major amendments to the Act include:

  • Microchipping – introducing the requirement for all dogs and cats over (proposed) three months of age to be microchipped
  • Desexing – introducing the requirement for all new generations of dogs and cats born after a prescribed date and by the (proposed) age of six months to be desexed
  • Breeders – introducing a requirement for anyone who breeds dogs and cats for sale to register as a breeder with the Dog and Cat Management Board
  • Sellers – introducing a requirement for certain information to be provided to the buyer
  • Council Powers – councils will have greater powers to administer and enforce the Act, including increases in some expiations and penalties
  • Assistance Dogs – changes to who can accredit animals and recognition of dogs in training.

Before the amendments become operational, regulations outlining the detailed provisions of the Act are required. These will be developed based on feedback from key stakeholders and the previous public consultation on the Bill. The draft regulations will undergo public consultation for a six-week period later this year.

The amendments and regulations will be made operational from a future date.  It is envisaged that implementation will be in stages during 2017 and 2018.

For more information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions here (PDF, 150KB).