18-26 – Commencement of amendments to the Companion Animals Act 1998 and a new Companion Animals Regulation 2018

Category: Circular to CouncilsStatus: Active
Circular Details: 18-26/ 06 September 2018/ A617440Contact: Policy Team
Who should read this: General Managers/ Rangers/ PoundsAction required: Council to implement
PDF Version:Council Circular 18-26 – PDF

What’s new or changing?

  • On 31 August 2018 amendments to the Companion Animals Act 1998 commenced, and the Companion Animals Regulation 2018 wholly replaced the former Companion Animals Regulation 2008. In addition, penalties for offences relating to assistance animals increased on 1 July 2018.
  • An overview of key changes for councils is attached to this Circular.
  • These changes implement the Government’s response to the Joint Select Committee on Companion Animal Breeding Practices in NSW, and a recent statutory review of the Companion Animals Regulation 2008.

Key points

  • The amended Act and new Regulation include changes that impact council’s companion animals functions, including:
    o increased penalties and penalty notice amounts for some offences
    o replacing clause 16(d) organisations with ‘rehoming organisations’ and
    o changes to access and use of data of the Companion Animals Register and NSW Pet Registry.
  • Some changes have been made to provide for future improvements to the Companion Animals Register and to the Pet Registry. Further information will be provided to councils about the nature and timing of these updates shortly.
  • Councils should review and update relevant documents and websites and help the Office of Local Government (OLG) to advise people who may be affected. OLG will also review and update documents and websites.
  • The Companion Animals Act 1998 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 will be amended by the Companion Animals and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2018, which was passed by the NSW Parliament on 6 June 2018 and assented to on 15 June 2018. Further to the amendments outlined in this Circular, further amendments will have effect from 1 July 2019.

Where to go for further information

Tim Hurst
Acting Chief Executive