20-27 Amendments to the Companion Animals Regulation 2018

Category: Circular to CouncilsStatus: Active
Circular Details: 20-27 / 1 July 2020/ A708906Contact: Policy Team / 02 4428 4100 /
Previous Circular: NilAttachments: Summary of amendments to the Companion Animals Regulation 2018 (the Regulation) – PDF
Who should read this: General Managers / Companion Animals Compliance and Enforcement Officers / Pounds / Customer Service OfficersAction required: Information
PDF Version:Council Circular 20-27 – PDF

What’s new or changing

  • The NSW Government is introducing 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 cat and dog lifetime registration fees increased in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
  • The Companion Animals Regulation 2018 (the Regulation) has been amended to clarify certain aspects of these changes.
  • Further changes to the Regulation also came into effect from 1 July 2020 as indicated below.

What this will mean for your council

  • Annual permit requirements for dangerous and restricted dogs and for cats not desexed by four months of age commenced on 1 July 2020. Transitional arrangements provide pet owners with additional time to comply.
  • The new lifetime registration fees are listed in the attached summary of amendments. This includes changes to registration categories as well as to the registration fees that apply from 1 July 2020.
  • Councils should update their systems to accommodate the new registration, annual permit and penalty fees and categories.

Key points

  • Changes to the Regulation, which are set out in more detail in the attachment, include:
    1. a 21-day transition period within which pet owners can comply with new annual permit requirements after 1 July 2020
    2. an annual permit exemption for recognised breeders for cats kept for breeding purpose
    3. a definition of “recognised breeder” for annual permit purpose
    4. an annual permit exemption for cats that cannot be de-sexed, either temporarily or permanently, until they can be de-sexed, where a vet has certified that in writing before the cat is four months of age
    5. abolishing the additional fee payable when registering a dog de-sexed after the age of six months if the dog was adopted from a rehoming organisation
    6. enabling notices for the seizure or surrender of animals to be served by email where an email address was provided upon registration
    7. changing the registration fee category for cats so that the additional registration fee for cats not de-sexed by the age of four months is removed, to reflect the introduction of annual permits
    8. reducing registration fees for all cats by $10 from 1 July 2020
    9. prescribing fees payable for the 2020-21 year, and
    10. creating new penalty notices for offences that relate to annual permits.
  • The Companion Animals Register and NSW Pet Registry have been modified to allow councils to apply the new lifetime registration fees from 1 July 2020 and to incorporate the other changes to the Regulation.
  • Both the old and new registration fee structures will be maintained on the Companion Animals Register to allow councils to correct registration details for existing records and catch up on data entry backlogs (i.e. where fees have been receipted before 1 July 2020 but not entered on the Register).
  • The current R2 – Lifetime Registration form can continue to be used.

Where to go for further information

  • Further information about annual permits is available on the Annual Permits page of OLG’s website at
  • While the Pet Registry and Companion Animals Register are temporarily unavailable to allow urgent maintenance and upgrading work, councils should process any applications by way of paper forms and hold on to these forms until further notice. Further advice on processing of companion animal matters will be issued shortly.
  • Further information will also be provided directly to councils and other registration agents about registration and annual permit processes.

Tim Hurst
Deputy Secretary
Local Government, Planning and Policy