Annual permits for non-desexed cats and restricted dangerous dogs are now required by the New South Wales Government, as a way of encouraging responsible pet ownership.
Introduced on July 1, 2020, owners of cats that are not desexed by four months of age will be required to pay an $80 annual permit, in addition to their one-off lifetime pet registration fee.
MidCoast Council has welcomed the news, saying annual permits for non-desexed cats will create a stronger incentive to desex cats, which will in turn improve their health and wellbeing, including reducing the risk of some cancers.
Improved desexing rates will also lower demand on pounds and shelters, reduce euthanasia rates and help to address concerns about feral, stray and roaming cats and their impact on local wildlife.
"This is great news from our perspective because anything that promotes responsible pet ownership means less animals in the pound and more information is available to us about the pets in our area," said Bruce Moore, MidCoast Council's Manager of Development Assessment.
Similarly from 1 July, owners of dogs of a restricted breed or formally declared to be dangerous will also be required to pay a $195 annual permit in addition to their one-off lifetime pet registration fee.
"We hope this will serve as a further disincentive to owning high-risk dogs and encourage owners to better manage the behaviour of their animal," added Bruce.
"We see too many dog attacks in our region, with a serious attack happening only last week so this is more positive news to help us try and bring this number down."
Local pet owners can pay for annual permits using the NSW Pet Registry website or through MidCoast Council.
Anyone registering a cat on the NSW Pet Registry will be informed that they must pay for an $80 annual permit if their animal is not desexed by four months of age.
Annual permit fees will go directly to the Companion Animals Fund which pays for companion animal management by local Councils including pounds/shelters, ranger services, dog recreation areas, and education and awareness programs.
The fund is also used to operate the NSW Pet Registry and carry out responsible pet ownership initiatives.
For further information about these permits, visit www.olg.nsw.gov.au and search 'pet ownership'.