Dog and Cat Reforms

About the Dog and Cat Management Act and Council's Dog and Cat By-laws

Main points:

  • Micro-chipping is mandatory for all cats and dogs (unless you have an exemption certificate)
  • De-sexing is mandatory for all cats and dogs born after 1 July 2018 (unless you have an exemption certificate)
  • ANYONE who breeds or sells a dog or cat MUST register as a BREEDER (Fee of $75 is payable to the Dog and Cat Management Board)
  • Registrations of DOGS and CATS is mandatory in the District Council of Yankalilla
  • The Dog and Cat Management Board has increased and introduced expiation fees for non-compliance with legislation
  • Registration is done at a state not local level and is actioned on-line
  • Only concessions validated by the state will be accepted for registration fees
  • The STATE-WIDE registration system gives access to dog and cat information by all required bodies (ie: councils, vets, animal welfare agencies etc)
  • The dog or cat registration fee is set by the LOCAL COUNCIL and collected by and distributed by the Dog and Cat Management Board.
  • Cats and dogs are not permitted to "wander at large" within the District.
  • Only two cats and two dogs can reside in one property unless permission is granted by Council.

Compulsory De-sexing - Dog and Cat Management Act

All dogs and cats born after the 1 July 2018 must be desexed by a registered veterinary surgeon:

  • before it is 6 months of age; or
  • within 28 days after the owner takes possession of the dog or cat; or
  • if the owner of a dog or cat is granted an extension of time, before the day specified in the exemption.

Compulsory Micro chipping - Dog and Cat Management Act

  • It is mandatory for all dogs and cats to be micro-chipped (unless you have an exemption certificate).
  • All micro-chipping agencies register micro-chipping details into the Dogs and Cats Online system

Exemptions - Desexing

There are exemptions for desexing prescribed in the Act and in the Regulations:

  • Vets may grant an exemption based on it posing an undue risk to the health of the dog or cat or adversely affecting the growth, development or well-being of the dog or cat.
  • Dogs & cats born before the 1 July 2018 do not have to be desexed
  • Dogs defined as a “Working Livestock Dog” as per the definition in the Act are exempt from desexing
  • Dogs belonging to Dogs SA members are exempt
  • Cats belonging to a FASA or Cat Fancy of SA members are exempt
  • Greyhounds currently registered to Greyhound Racing SA are exempt (retired greyhounds are not exempt)
  • Board exemption

Exemptions - Microchipping

Registered veterinary surgeons will be able to exempt a dog or cat from microchipping if satisfied the procedure would:

  • pose an undue risk to the health of the dog or cat
  • adversely affect the growth, development or well-being of the dog or cat.

Mandatory Registration of Dogs (Dog and Cat Management Act) and Cats (Cat By-law 2018)

  • All cats (from some Council areas) and all dogs within South Australia are to be registered via a STATE WIDE on-line registration system.  This system is known as Dogs and Cats Online.
  • You DO NOT register your dog or cat via your local council any more.
  • The Dog and Cats Online system will be the only point for all your dog and cat management registrations, payments and information.  The system REPLACES the systems used in the past in individual local councils.

Please visit the Dog and Cat Management Board for more details.

Registration Categories

Under the Act, dogs and cats are categorised as Standard or Non-Standard.

A Standard animal is one which is both desexed and microchipped.

A Non-Standard animal is any other status - ie: desexed but not microchipped, microchipped but not desexed or an "entire" animal - not desexed or microchipped.

The intent of the Act is for all dogs and cats to be desexed and microchipped.  However only those born after 1 July 2018 are required by the Act to be desexed.

Exemptions from microchipping/desexing and how it relates to registration fees

It is important to note that when an exemption is provided with regards to microchipping or desexing a dog or cat, this exemption does not determine the animal as a STANDARD animal.

Registration fees for non-standard animals is higher than that of a standard animal.

An exemption provides exemption from:

(1) an operation,  and

(2) Council issuing an expiation notice for non-compliance of the requirement to microchip or desex.

The registration fee is not reduced for exempt animals.

Concessions for Registrations - Dog and Cat Management Act

When registering a dog or cat only the following concessions will apply to any registration fee.  When entering details of your concessions a real-time assessment will take place via the DHS website to validate your concession.  Only the following concessions are accepted:

  • Pension card,
  • Health care card,
  • DVA gold and white cards, and
  • Seniors health card.

Wandering at Large Controls

Both dogs and cats are not permitted to 'wander at large'.

What is wandering at large? - it is when a dog or cat is in a public place, or a private place without the consent of the occupier, and no person is exercising effective controls of the dog or cat by means of a physical restraint.

Dogs being exercised off-leash (when and where permitted) must have the dog under effective control (physical restraint or by command and within close proximity and visivle at al times) - failure to do so is also wandering at large.

Council's Cats By-law requires cats to also not wander at large and as a result are not permitted to leave their property unless on a leash or contained (ie within a cat travel box when visiting the vet).

The Dog and Cat Management Board have created some useful literature on this webpage.

Lifetime Numbering - One Tag

All registered dogs and cats are provided with a LIFETIME NUMBER.  For dogs, a tag will be issued by the Dog and Cat Management Board (by mail) with this number displayed and for cats, Council will issue a tag to owners that pick one up from our offices.

For dogs, once you receive the tag, you will need to access the Dogs and Cats Online system, check your details and pay your registration fee.

It is VERY important to note that the receipt of the (dog) tag is not confirmation of payment (as in previous years).  Not paying for your dog/cat registration by the due date of 31 August will result in a late fee being applied and continued non-registration will likely result in an expiation notice being issued.

Replacement tags will be available via the Dogs and Cats Online system.

Making Payments for Registrations

Payment for your registration is through the Dogs and Cats Online system via Credit Card or BPAY

Please note - past BPAY references you had for dog registrations WILL NOT WORK.  You will need to use the BPAY number detailed on your renewal notice.

Where can you register your dog or cat?

Registration can only be done ONLINE.  If you do not have access to a computer, Council has the following locations where free on-line access is available (along with volunteers to assist with the process if necessary):

  • The Library
  • The Centre
  • The Visitor Information Centre
  • The Council Offices

Two dogs/cats per Property - Dogs By-law No 5 and Cats By-law 2018

The current By-laws for both dogs and cats limit the number permitted to reside on a property as two (2).  Permission is required from Council for housing more than this prescribed number.

Contact the Customer Service Team on 8558 0200 for further assistance with this matter.

Breeding and Selling - Dog and Cat Management Act

These changes don’t just affect professional breeders, but anyone whose dog or cat has a litter. 

  • You are required to become a registered breeder, with the Dog and Cat Management Board, if you breed or sell dogs and cats.
  • Breeders are required to supply a breeder registration number (issued by the Dog and Cat Management Board) and current contact details in any advertisements listing dogs or cats for sale or trade.
  • All breeders are required to abide by the new Standards and Guidelines for breeders and sellers.
  • All dogs and cats registered will need to provide the breeder number where they purchased the dog or cat.
  • A Breeder registration fee of $75 will apply

Transferring from One Council Area to Another

  • The responsibility to amend details when moving to a different Council area remains the responsibility of the dog/cat owner
  • This process is no longer managed by the local Council - the owner logs into the Dogs and Cats Online system and updates information accordingly

Updating Owner Information

  • This process is no longer managed by the local Council - the owner logs into the Dogs and Cats Online system and updates information accordingly

Lost Cats and Dogs

As cats and dogs are to be micro-chipped, reuniting lost cats and dogs with their owners should be an easier task, however there will be times where animals can not be identified or the owner cannot be contacted.

On such occasions, Council can impound the animal and pass on  impounding fees directly to the owner (as subject to Council's Fees and Charges). Please note expiation notices may be issued for cats and dogs 'wandering at large'.

Council endeavours to provide details of lost animals on its web site and via its Facebook account, the Dogs and Cats Online system also has an opportunity for owners to mark their animal as being lost.

Council may keep the animal for 3 days prior to passing to an agency for rehousing.

Expiation Notices

Council is responsible for enforcing legislative requirements and is keen to encourage its residents to be responsible dog and cat owners. This means registering, micro-chipping and de-sexing all dogs and cats (unless specific exemptions apply).  Council is required to issue expiations for non-compliance.

Please note the following expiation fees have been set by the legislation (note fees are higher for Dangerous or Prescribed dogs):

  • Not registering over the age of 3 months - $170 (then every 14 days $170 until registered)
  • Inaccurately registered animal - $210
  • Dog Attacks, harasses or chases or otherwise endangers teh health of a person, animal or bird (whether or not actual injury is caused) - $315
  • Dog barking which persistently occurs or continues to such a degree or extent that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of a person - $315
  • Transporting unrestrained dogs in the tray of utes - $210
  • Dog rushing or chasing a vehicle - $315
  • Contravention of a Destruction, Dangerous Dog, or Menacing Dog Order - $750
  • Contravention of a Nuisance or Barking Dog Order - $500
  • Selling dogs or cats whilst not a registered breeder - $415
  • Selling a dog or cat which is not microchipped (in accordance with any requirement set out in the regulations)- $315
  • Selling a dog or cat which is not desexed (in accordance with any requirement set out in the regulations) - $315
  • Dog defecates in a public place and the person responsible does not immediately remove the faeces - $210
  • Dog Wandering at Large - $210
  • Failure to Microchip - $170 (then every 3 months $170 until microchipped)
  • Failure to De-sex - $170 (then every 3 months $315 until microchipped)
  • Failure to wear a collar with ID - $170

Offences under the Cat By-law 2018 have a fee of $187.50.