New laws for dog and cat owners

Dog and cat owners in the Adelaide Hills will need to abide by compulsory desexing and microchipping when new laws come into place by the end of this year.

State Parliament last night (6 July) passed an amendment to the Dog and Cat Management Act, which was based on the findings of a citizens' jury that urged more effort to be made to reduce the number of animals euthanised annually.

Mayor Bill Spragg was happy to see the changes come into effect.

"Our officers see first-hand how microchipping can quickly reunite pets with their families. Making this mandatory will ultimately lead to even more happy endings." he said.

"The reduction in unwanted litters through mandatory desexing will also undoubtedly see a positive result for our native animals throughout the Hills."

All dogs and cats will have to be microchipped, and dogs and cats will soon have to be desexed, with exemptions available for breeders, working dogs, and security dogs.

"The LGA has fully supported the development of this Bill, and we're pleased the concerns and priorities raised by our sector during consultation have been incorporated into the final version." Said Local Government Association of SA CEO, Matt Pinnegar.

"Council officers will now have greater investigation and enforcement powers under the Act, which will allow them to better serve their communities."

Other amendments work towards eliminating puppy farms, increasing the power of local councils to administer the Act, and changing who can accredit assistance dogs and dogs in training.

It is expected that the draft regulations will be ready for public consultation later this year and that the amendments will be phased in during 2017.

For more information please visit the Dog and Cat Management Board website.

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