What are the Compulsory identification / microchipping requirements?
The introduction of compulsory microchipping aims to ensure that all owned animals have a means of permanent identification which cannot be lost or tampered with. Microchips are tiny – about the size of a grain of rice – and can be inserted under the skin between the shoulders of a cat or dog. The process is similar to receiving immunisation injections. Councils and other relevant people such as vets are able to read the
Microchip by passing a scanner over the animal. Each chip contains a unique number which links the animal to the owners details, kept on a Statewide register. Privacy controls ensure the confidentiality of an owner's details and limit access to lawful purposes.
What is a working dog?
Working dogmeans; a dog used primarily for the purpose of droving, tending, working or protecting stock, and includes a dog being trained as a working dog. Some provisions of the Companion Animal’s Act do not apply to these dogs. Contact Council for further information.
How can I check if my animal is microchipped?
A companion animal must be microchipped as required by the regulations from the time the animal is 12 weeks old. The microchip can be checked by your local vet, council or animal welfare organisation.
My animal is microchipped is that the same as registration?
Although microchipping provides an excellent form of identification, it is only the first step to registering your animal.Next the identification certificate needs to be presented at Council and the registration fee paid. The fees are now one single payment for the lifetime of your pet. A companion animal must be registered under this Act from the time the animal is 6 months old. This allows time for the owner to have their pet desexed. The owner of the animal is guilty of an offence if it is not registered.
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2. Pet Responsibilites
Do I have to walk my dog on a leash?
When your dog is out in public, it must be under the effective control of a competent person at all times, by means of an adequate chain, cord or leash that is attached to the dog and that is being held by the person. This means that it must be on a lead and under the control of someone who is capable of restraining the dog. Small children, for instance, may not be able to control large dogs and under these circumstances an adult should walk the dog.
In Camden Council, Dogs may be exercised off leash, within River Reserve. River reserve is located at 42 River Road, Elderslie.
Owning a dog encourages people to exercise and visit their local park. Some behavioural problems in dogs such as severe owner dependence and barking can be traced back to lack of socialisation and a barren home environment. Dogs need to learn acceptable behaviour in the public and need to be socialised.
Does my Dog need to wear a Collar & Tag?
A dog must have a collar around its neck and there must be attached to the collar:
A name tag that shows the name of the dog and the address or telephone number of the owner of the dog.
Note: This section does not apply to a dog while it is on property of which the owner of the dog is the occupier.
Do I really have to pick up my dog poo?
If a dog defecates in a public place: The owner of the dog or another person who is of in charge of the dog at that time must immediately remove the dog’s faeces and properly dispose of them. The most common complaint about unremoved faecal deposits is the effect on aesthetics and the unpleasant experience of dodging droppings on footpaths and in parks. The most serious concerns are health related.Faeces may be infested with microscopic parasitic organisms that can pollute our waterways or possibly cause disease in humans.
A Penalty infringement notice may be issued, for failure to remove dog faeces. Penalty Amount $275.00.
What do I do; if my dog or Cat is lost?
Contact Council’s Pound, Renbury Farm Animal Shelter, 406 Bringelly Road, Austral, on (02) 9606 6118.
If your dog or cat is missing, contact Council and quote the microchip number so that the details can reflect the animal as “MISSING” on the Companion Animals Register.
Many dogs & cats are lost, injured or stolen every year. Most of the impounded animals do not have microchips. As they cannot be reunited with their owners, they may be euthanased (destroyed).
If you want to be reunited with your missing animal:
- ensure your animal has a microchip implanted
- Register your animal with Council
- ensure your contact details are up to date
- ensure your animal wears a collar with a name tag advising of your contact number.
All changes to contact details are ‘free of charge’ for Council to update.
Do I have to keep my cat inside?
No - the Companion Animals Act does not contain any requirement for a cat curfew or for cats to be kept inside. However cat owners are encouraged to keep their cat inside at night as this can provide many benefits to both the cat itself and the general community. Studies have shown that the overwhelming majority of car accidents, fights and injury occur to cats at night. Statistics also show that cats which are kept inside at night live at least three years longer on average than cats which are allowed out. Fighting and ‘yowling’ are also more of a problem at night. Unwanted noise is likely to become a nuisance for neighbours. Keeping your cat inside at night is therefore recommended in the interests of community harmony.
Should I desex my animal?
The desexing of dogs and cats is not compulsory in New South Wales.Although not compulsory, Desexing of animals is promoted in NSW. It is much cheaper to register a desexed dog or cat.
The benefits of desexing include reducing the likelihood that your dog or cat will stray, reducing fighting and aggression and reducing antisocial behaviour such as spraying to mark territory. Desexing before six months of age is encouraged, and it is recommended that you talk to your vet about the options.
Every year in Australia hundreds of thousands ofcompanion animals are surrendered to pounds, shelters and vet clinics, some are simply abandoned on the street. The number of animals surrendered dramatically increases during breeding season due to pregnancy, unwanted births or for behavioural reasons related to being un-desexed.
If you are unable to have your animal desexed because of financial concerns, it is suggested that you talk to your veterinarian or an animal welfare association as they may be able to assist you.
How many dogs or cats can I have?
There is no limit on the number of companion animals which a person can own. Provided that; the animals are properly cared for and do not pose a nuisance, health or safety risk to other members of the community.
Commercial uses and/or numbers of dogs & cats may require council development consent. Contact Council for further information.
Animals & Fireworks
Christmas, New Year and the Queens Birthday celebrations bring fireworks, which pose many risks to animal safety.
Animals will do anything to get away from the sights and sounds of fireworks and sometimes injure themselves in the process.
If you plan to be away from home, if it's possible, put your animal indoors, in a laundry or in your garage with some soothing music, favourite toys, familiar bedding, and food and fresh water. A bone or chewable toy may relieve stress in dogs. NEVER USE A SLIP COLLAR OR CHOKER CHAIN to restrain your dog - it may choke itself.
Ensure your animal is microchipped and wearing a collar with a tag showing the name of the animal and a contact telephone number. Once the collar is fitted on your animal, you should be able to slip two fingers underneath it.
If you are aware that your animal is affected by fireworks you may prefer to place it in a boarding kennel, cattery, stables or Veterinary hospital for a few days.
If your animal goes missing…….
- Contact your local Veterinary Hospital and/or Council’s Pound, Renbury Farm Animal Shelter on 9606-6118
- Contact Council to report the dog/cat as 'missing' on the NSW Companion Animals Register
- Contact Council to ensure your contact details are up to date on the NSW Companion Animals Register
DON'T place signs on telegraph poles, in roundabouts, or on Council land. If you do you may receive a Penalty Infringement Notice for $330.00.
Can my animal suffer heat stress?
ALL animals can suffer heat stress.
Animals in hot cars
NEVER leave an animal in a hot car, even with the windows down — they may die. In only a few minutes the temperature of most cars is so high that your animal will be near death. Even if your animal is healthy, it will not survive if locked in a hot car
Obviously, jog or walk in the cooler times of day, either early morning or late evening, and stop if your dog is struggling to keep up. A dog is so faithful that it won't want to be left behind and will ignore those vital messages from its body that say ‘stop’ and is in danger of collapse from heat stress. If your dog is walking unsteadily, or panting excessively, or appears excited STOP walking immediately until your dog can cool down. You may try giving it small amounts of water frequently, hosing it & splashing water under its belly, armpits & groin. Stop regularly to give your dog a rest and a drink, or even better a cooling swim.
Many animals in gardens, yards and paddocks also suffer heat stress. Any animal tethered is at risk. Animals confined in concrete pens or even birds in cages are also at risk, as they cannot escape the heat. Be sure that you provide shade for your animal. Kennels, cages and aviaries must be in the shade for the whole day. Consider having a sleeping area under your house for your dog. The house will provide excellent insulation. Naturally, all animals need water and the bowls should always be placed in the shade. In the heat, two water bowls are handy, incase one becomes overturned. A light mist of cold water will be enjoyed by animals during hot weather. If you think that your animal is suffering from heat stress contact your Veterinarian immediately.
Could my dog attack livestock?
A major cause of dog attacks is irresponsible owners, and lack of training and socialisation of the dog. Lack of socialisation often results in fearful or aggressive behaviour.The optimum time to socialise a dog is before it reaches 4 months of age. Irrespective of whether your dog is a large ‘guard’ breed or a fluffy lapdog, ALL dogs have what is called a ‘prey drive’ and a natural instinct to chase another animal that moves – even the best trained and well socialised ones.
Dog owners must not allow their dogs to roam free in a public place, unless in a designated off leash area. The owner of a dog who attacks and/or maim or kill livestock is liable for the cost of the veterinary treatment for those injured animals.
The owner of the injured or killed livestock may take action against the dog owner to recover the cost of lost animals. Section 22 of the Act allows any person to seize and detain a dog on a property if they reasonably believe the dog may injure or kill livestock being farmed on that property. This includes injuring or destroying the dog in order to prevent the attack and loss of stock.
To prevent your dog from attacking livestock, be a responsible pet owner by doing the following:
- Don’t allow your dog to roam
- Make sure your fences are in good order and keep your dog in the yard
- Esure you dog is well cared for and well fed – bored and hungry dogs go looking for food
- Make sure your dog is desexed as it will be less likely to roam
- Don’t allow your dog to chase other animals such as birds and native animals
- Train your dog to be obedient and socialise with other animals in a controlled environment.
What do I need to do when I move?
Any change that occurs in the registration information or identification information for the animal, for example; change address or mobile phone numbers, must be notified to your local council within 14 days. Should your pet go missing, it is vital your contact information is up to date. This service is free of charge.
My dog/cat has passed away?
Council must be notified within 28 days. The NSW Companion Animal Register will be updated to reflect your animal as deceased. ‘This service is free of charge.’
Where can I purchase Dogs & Cats?
Animal shelters and dog rescue groups often have a variety of animals that need re-homing. Dogs and cats can be found of many different breeds and ages. Even puppies!
Adopting a pet that needs re-homing is usually cost effective. Often they have been vaccinated, wormed, desexed and microchipped. Some organisations offer health guarantees. For more information contact:
West Hoxton SHELTER
45 Herley Avenue
Rossmore NSW 2557
T: 8777 3300
406 Bringelly Rd
Ph: 9606 6118
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3. Breeding of Companion Animals
What do I need to do when I sell my litter of Puppies?
A companion animal must be microchipped from the time the animal is 12 weeks old. A companion animal must not be sold unless it has been microchipped. (Even if it is less than 12 weeks old when it is sold).Once your animal is sold, a change of owner form must be completed and sent to council. Council will update the Companion Animals register to reflect the new owner’s details.
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4. Dealing with Dogs
What do I do when a dog approaches me?
A dog walking or running towards you can be scary. Running and making noise can make a dog feel threatened. If you run there is a good chance that the dog will chase you. Do not wave your arms around or try to hit out at the dog.
- Stay as quiet as you can
- Do not stare at the dog.By avoiding eye contact you are taking a submissive role, hopefully avoiding the need for the dog to challenge you.
- Wait until the dog loses interest then, slowly and carefully, back away in most instances, once the dog feels that it is no longer being challenged, it will allow you to quietly walk away.
(This information has been sourced from: www.pets.info.vic.gov.au)
5. Dangerous and Restricted Breed Dogs
What is a dangerous dog?
A dog is dangerous if it has, without provocation:
- Attacked or killed a person or animal (other than vermin), or
- Repeatedly threatened to attack or repeatedly chased a person or animal (other than vermin).
Which Breeds are classed as Restricted?
It is now an offence in New South Wales to sell, acquire or breed dogs on the restricted dog list;
(a) American Pitbull Terrier or Pitbull Terrier
(b) Japanese tosa
(c) Dogo Argentino (Argentinean fighting dog)
(d) Fila Brasiliero (Brazilian fighting dog)
(e) Any dog declared by a council under Division 6 of the Act to be a restricted dog ##
(f) Any other dog of a breed kind, or description prescribed by the Regulation.
It is now an offence in New South Wales to sell, acquire or breed dogs on the restricted dog list; (a) American Pitbull Terrier or Pitbull Terrier (b) Japanese tosa (c) Dogo Argentino (Argentinean fighting dog) (d) Fila Brasiliero (Brazilian fighting dog) (e) Any dog declared by a council under Division 6 of the Act to be a restricted dog ## (f) Any other dog of a breed kind, or description prescribed by the Regulation.
## This means any dog where the council is of the opinion that a dog is of a breed or kind of dog on the restricted dog list or A cross-breed of any such breed or kind of dog.
Can I give away my Restricted Breed Dog?
A person who sells, or advertises the sale of, a restricted dog or proposed restricted dog is guilty of an offence.
Note. The term “sell” extends to the transfer of owner by any means, including by gift a person who accepts ownership of a restricted dog or proposed restricted dog is guilty of an offence.
A Restricted dog may be surrendered to a council pound or an approved animal welfare organisation.
What is a childproof enclosure?
The Companion Animals Act requires the enclosure:
To be fully enclosed, constructed and maintained so that the dog cannot escape under, over or through the enclosure
- To be constructed so that a person cannot have access to it without the assistance of an occupier of the property who is above age of 16years
- To be designed to prevent children from having access to the enclosure
- Not be located on the property in such a way that people are required to pass through the enclosure to gain access to other parts of the property
- To have a minimum height and width of 1.8 m
- To have an area of not less than 10 square metres for each dangerous or restricted dog kept on the property
- To have walls that are fixed to the floor and constructed to be no more than 50 mm from the floor
- To have walls, a fixed covering and a gate that are constructed of brick, timber, iron or similar solid materials, or chain mesh manufactured from at least 3.15 mm wire or weldmesh manufactured from at least 4 mm wire with a maximum mesh spacing of 50 mm, or a combination
- Have a floor that is constructed of sealed concrete and graded to fall to a drain for the removal of effluent
- Provide a weatherproof sleeping area
Where can I purchase Dangerous Dog Signs & Collars?
Dangerous Dog Signs and Collars may be purchased from Camden Council or Renbury farm. These Collars and signs are mandatory under the Companion Animals Act for declared dangerous dogs and Restricted Breed Dogs.
What are the Penalties for non-compliance?
Offence Under Companion Animals Act 1998
Maximum penalty amount
Disqualification from dog ownership
Restricted or Dangerous dog attacks /harasses/ Chases person or animal
Restricted or Dangerous dog attacks or bites a person due to failure to comply with requirements
Restricted or Dangerous dog attacks or bites a person and has previously attacked
Fail to comply with control requirements for
By court order
Sell or advertise restricted dog
Accept ownership of restricted dog
Dangerous or restricted dog encouraged to attack
Penalty Infringement Notices (PINS or on the spot fines) may also be issued.
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6. Nuisance Animals
What is a nuisance animal?
A dog / Cat are a nuisance when the animal:
- Makes a noise, by barking or otherwise, that persistently occurs or continues to such a degree or extent that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of any person in any other premises.
- A dog may be considered a nuisance if it;
- Is habitually at large,
- Repeatedly defecates on property (other than a public place) outside the property on which it is ordinarily kept, or
- Repeatedly runs at or chases any person, animal (other than vermin and, in relation to an animal, otherwise than in the course of droving, tending, working or protecting stock) or vehicle, or
- Endangers the health of any person or animal.
To lodge a complaint about a nuisance animal please click here