Introduction of annual permits for non-desexed cats and dangerous/restricted dogs
The NSW Government has introduced annual permits for non-desexed cats and restricted and dangerous dogs as part of its commitment to promoting responsible pet ownership and improving animal welfare standards.
From 1 July 2020 owners of cats not desexed by four months of age are now required to pay an annual permit in addition to their one-off lifetime pet registration fee.
A list of registration and permit fees is available at microchipping and registration.
This will create a stronger incentive to desex cats, which in turn will improve their health and wellbeing, including reducing the risk of some cancers.
Improving desexing rates will also ease the burden on pounds and shelters, reduce euthanasia rates, and help to address concerns about feral, stray and roaming cats and their effect on wildlife.
Exemptions are in place for cats that are registered by 1 July 2020, those kept for breeding purposes by members of recognised breeding bodies, and cats which cannot be de-sexed for medical reasons.
From 1 July 2020 owners of dogs of a restricted breed or formally declared to be dangerous are also required to pay an annual permit in addition to their one-off lifetime pet registration fee.
This will serve as a further disincentive to owning high-risk dogs and encourage owners to better manage the behaviour of their animal.
Pet owners can pay for annual permits using the NSW Pet Registry website or through their local council.
Anyone registering a cat on the NSW Pet Registry will be informed that they must pay for an annual permit if their animal is not desexed by four months of age.
Annual permit fees go directly to the Companion Animals Fund which pays for companion animal management by local councils including pounds/shelters, ranger services, dog recreation areas, and education and awareness programs.
The fund is also used to operate the NSW Pet Registry and carry out responsible pet ownership initiatives.
- Frequently Asked Questions about annual permits – PDF
- Information for NSW councils – PDF
- Information for NSW veterinarians – PDF
- Offline annual permit form – PDF
- RSPCA NSW and the Cat Protection Society on why you should desex your cat
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- Video 5
Selling or giving away a cat or dog
From 1 July 2019, people selling or giving away kittens, cats, puppies or dogs, will need to include an identification number in any advertisements.
The changes will help people looking to buy a cat or dog to know what the current owner has recorded as the breed, sex and age of the cat or dog, whether it is desexed, and whether or not it is already registered.
This will enable prospective owners to do further research and make informed purchasing decisions. This helps to promote responsible cat and dog breeding and selling. Animal welfare enforcement agencies will also be able to use this information to identify ‘problem’ breeders and to enforce animal welfare laws.
The identification number can be either:
- a microchip number
- a breeder identification number, OR
- a rehoming organisation number
The new rule applies regardless of:
- the age of the animal
- the place you plan to advertise
- whether you are a hobby or professional breeder; or your cat or dog has had an accidental or one-off litter
- whether or not you bred the animal
- whether or not the animal you are selling or rehoming has been born yet
The rules will apply to all advertisements, including those in newspapers, local posters, community notice boards and all forms of online advertising, including public advertisements on websites such as the Trading Post, Gumtree and social media sites.
The changes have been implemented in response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Companion Animal Breeding Practices
The changes help people looking to buy a cat or dog search the NSW Pet Registry to see the animal’s:
- whether it is desexed
- whether or not it is already registered
Pet Registry Factsheets
Buying or adopting a cat or dog
Check the NSW Pet Registry
Use the identification number to check the NSW Pet Registry to confirm the number is valid.
A microchip number search will provide you with information about what the owner has recorded as the breed, sex and age of the cat or dog, whether it is desexed and whether or not it is already registered.
Do your research
When considering buying or adopting a cat or dog, you should always do your research first:
- Make sure you can meet the animal’s needs. You need to understand the breed, the animal’s characteristics, expected lifespan, and how much time and money is needed to look after the cat or dog
- Consider introducing a new cat or dog to any existing pets, and get advice if you’re unsure whether the animals will be compatible.
- Make sure your children know how to safely interact with your cat or dog
- Contact the breeder or seller if you have any questions about the origin of a cat or dog
- Research the breeder or seller and, if possible, visit the facility where the animal has been bred or is being housed in order to assess the animal’s living conditions and welfare
- Check if the cat or dog is up to date with vaccinations, flea and worm treatments
- Check if the animal is microchipped and registered
If you have any further questions about the new advertising requirements, please visit: https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/animals-and-livestock/animal-welfare/companion-animal-welfare/selling-or-giving-away-a-cat-or-dog or contact the Department of Primary Industries Animal Welfare Branch on (02) 6391 3149 or firstname.lastname@example.org