21-10 Guidelines for Designated Rehoming Organisations under Section 88B of the Companion Animals Act 1998

Circular Details21-10 / 9 June 2021 / A640098
Previous Circular18-26 – Commencement of amendments to the Companion Animals Act 1998 and a new Companion Animals Regulation 2018
Who should read thisGeneral Managers / Rangers / Pounds
ContactProgram Delivery Team / 02 4428 4100 /
Action RequiredInformation
PDF Version21-10 Guidelines for Designated Rehoming Organisations under Section 88B of the Companion Animals Act 1998 – PDF

What’s new or changing

  • The Office of Local Government (OLG) has issued new Guidelines for Designated Rehoming Organisations.
  • They replace the former “Guidelines for Approval to be an Organisation Exempt from Companion Animal Registration under clause 16(d) of the Companion Animals Regulation 2008”.
  • The new guidelines contain detailed information about:
    • the role and responsibilities of designated rehoming organisations including their record keeping and annual reporting obligations;
    • the process for applying for designation as a rehoming organisation under section 88B of the Companion Animals Act 1998 (the Act).
  • The Guidelines are likely to be impacted by future functionality changes to the NSW Pet Registry therefore iterative versions of the document will be released as required in the future.

What this will mean for your council

  • Councils are encouraged to acquaint themselves with the new Guidelines, particularly in regard to the application process, which involves council input, and the registration and permit related concessions.
  • Councils should refer to the list of designated rehoming organisations on OLG’s website before releasing a companion animal to such an organisation where a registration fee exemption is sought.
  • Only those organisations on the list are entitled to concessions in regard to the registration and permit requirements of the legislation.

Key points

  • The Act was amended and the Companion Animals Regulation 2018 (the Regulation) replaced the Companion Animals Regulation 2008 (the former Regulation).
  • These changes repealed the regime under clause 16(d) of the former Regulation whereby certain organisations that rescue and rehome companion animals were granted an approval which enabled them to have custody of those animals while unregistered.
  • They created a new regime under section 88B of the Act whereby such organisations may now seek designation as rehoming organisations, thereby entitling them to receive both similar and additional benefits and concessions.
  • Section 5(1) of the Act defines “rehoming organisation” for the purposes of the Act and the Regulation as including councils, the operators of council pounds, the NSW Animal Welfare League, the NSW Cat Protection Society, the RSPCA and organisations designated as such under section 88B of the Act.
  • The new guidelines only apply to organisations designated under section 88B of the Act as rehoming organisations.
  • The guidelines also contain new annual report and record keeping templates which will enable OLG to more accurately monitor and report on the activities of designated rehoming organisations.

Where to go for further information

Luke Walton
Acting Deputy Secretary
Local Government, Planning and Policy