Is microchipping and desexing compulsory?
Microchipping and desexing is not currently compulsory, but it soon will be.
From 1 July 2018, microchipping and desexing of dogs and cats will become compulsory [see Dog and Cat Management (Miscellaneous) Amendment Act 2016 (SA) Part 4A]. The Dog And Cat Management Regulations 2017 (SA) will provide that dogs and cats must be:
- Microchipped before sale, but otherwise before they reach 12 weeks of age or within 28 days of the owner taking possession (unless an extension of time has been obtained) [reg 10];
- Desexed before sale, but otherwise before they reach 6 months of age or within 28 days of the owner taking possession (unless and extension of time has been obtained) [reg 12].
As such, if you have a dog or cat that will be 12 weeks of age on or before 1 July 2018, you should ensure that it is microchipped by that date. Dogs and cats born before 1 July 2018 are exempt from the requirement to be de-sexed but those born on or after this date must be de-sexed.
Expiation fee from 1 July 2018
Dangerous or prescribed breed $750
Any other case $170
There will also be provision for continuing offences, where a dog or cat is not microchipped or desexed for a further 3 months.
From 1 July 2017, the Dog and Cat Management Board will begin keeping a register of dogs and cats that have been microchipped and desexed [Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 (SA) s 21B]. This will help ensure that owners can meet the requirements and report to the register, pursuant to the regulations, by 1 July 2018.
Microchipping and desexing can enable lost dogs and cats to be quickly reunited with their owners and reduce the number of unwanted dogs and cats having to be put down.
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.