All dogs and cats (other than those exempt) must be registered by six months of age. The registration fee is a once-only payment, which covers the dog or cat for its lifetime in NSW, regardless of any changes in ownership. You are encouraged to have your dog or cat desexed before registering it.
Discounted registration fees may apply to desexed dogs or cats. Having your dog or cat desexed may help reduce straying, fighting, and aggressive/antisocial behaviours. It also helps to reduce the number of unwanted pets born each year.
Since 1 July 1999, all dogs and cats (other than those exempt) must be microchipped/identified by 12 weeks of age or before being sold or given away.
A working dog is defined in the Companion Animals Act 1998 as a dog that is used primarily for the purpose of droving, tending, working or protecting stock, and includes a dog being trained as a working dog.
Hunting dogs and guard dogs do not qualify as working dogs under the Act. Just because an animal is kept for purposes other than that of a pet, does not necessarily mean it is a ‘working dog’.
Under the Companion Animals Act 1998, dogs that meet the definition of a ‘working dog’ are exempt from microchipping/identifying and registering when:
- a working dog that is ordinarily kept in a part of the Western Division of the State that is not within a local government area,
- a working dog that is ordinarily kept on land categorised as farmland as defined in the Local Government Act 1993.
All other working dogs MUST be microchipped/identified and registered. However, a nil dollar (free) registration fee applies.
It should be noted that all working dogs are valuable animals and owners are encouraged to have their dogs microchipped/identified and registered so in the event of being lost, they can be re-united with their owners.
Farm pets are NOT considered to be working dogs.
Yes. If your cat or dog is exempt from microchipping/identification and registration requirements it may lose this exemption the Companion Animals Act 1998 is breached.
Any dog which has been declared dangerous (including working dogs), menacing, or restricted must be microchipped/identified and registered. Similarly, any dog or cat which is the subject of a nuisance order must be microchipped/identified and registered.
If a person is convicted of an offence under the Companion Animals Act 1998, any registration exemption which may apply is lost, and the animal must be microchipped/identified and registered.
Similarly, if any dog or cat is taken into the custody of a council pound it must be microchipped/identified and registered before being released to its owner (even if it is less than 6 months old).
Yes, cats must be microchipped/identified and registered the same as dogs.
Registration fees for dogs and cats are set by legislation and councils are unable to change them. Registration fees are subject to change, please check with council before making any payments.
For the current list of fees and charges please visit https://www.olg.nsw.gov.au/content/registration-fees
Yes, even if your pet is registered in another state you MUST register it in NSW.
Under the Companion Animals Act 1998, all dogs and cats (other than those exempt) must be microchipped/identified by 12 weeks of age or before being sold or given away. Penalties may apply for breaches of legislation.
The owner of an identified companion animal (whether or not it is registered) must notify Council when any of the following happens—
- the animal has been missing for more than 72 hours (notification must be given within 96 hours after the animal went missing)
- the animal has been found after having been reported missing (notification must be given within 72 hours after the animal is found)
- the animal dies (notification must be given within 28 days after the animal dies)
You can make notification in writing or by phone for the above circumstances. All other notifications (including change of address or ownership) must be done in writing, using the appropriate form.
The Companion Animals Act 1998 does not contain any requirement for cats to be kept inside, or a cat curfew. However, cat owners are encouraged to keep their cat inside at night as this can be beneficial to both the cat and the community.
Yes, dogs must be on a lead at all times unless they are in a designated, sign posted, off leash area.