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New permits rewarding responsible pet ownership

26 June, 2020

Dog and cat owners in the Gunnedah Shire are being urged to check new de-sexing and registration requirements, with changes to the Companion Animal Act coming into effect next month.

From 1 July 2020 the NSW Government will introduce annual permits for owners of non-desexed cats, restricted dog breeds, and dogs declared to be dangerous.

Under the changes, owners of cats not desexed by four months of age will be required to obtain an $80 annual permit in addition to their one-off lifetime pet registration fee.

Exemptions will be in place for cats kept for breeding purposes by members of recognised breeding bodies, and cats which cannot be desexed for medical reasons.

The new permit system will also apply to owners of dogs of a restricted breed or declared to be dangerous. The $195 annual permit will be in addition to the registration fee and applies to dogs that are already registered.

Restricted dog breeds include the pit bull terrier, American pit bull terrier, Japanese tosa, Argentinian fighting dog, Brazilian fighting dog, and canary mastiff.

Dogs of any breed can be formally declared dangerous by a council or court if without provocation the dog attacks or repeatedly threatens to attack a person or animal.

Council Coordinator of Regulatory Services Wade Berryman said the changes are designed to promote responsible pet ownership and improve animal welfare standards.

“Improving desexing rates will help keep our cats healthy, ease the burden on pounds and shelters, reduce euthanasia rates and address concerns about stray and roaming cats and their effect on wildlife,” Mr Berryman said.

“Most of the community are already proactive, responsible pet owners. These new regulations will act as an extra reminder to book the cat in to be desexed, which also entitles you to a discount on your registration fee.

“Permits for restricted and dangerous dogs will encourage owners to better manage the behaviour of their animal and reassure the community that these animals are monitored closely.”

Annual permit fees will go directly to the Companion Animals Fund which pays for companion animal management by local councils including pounds and shelters, ranger services, dog recreation areas, and education and awareness programs.

From 1 July 2020, pet owners will be able to apply for annual permits at


Media contact: Eliza Gallen (02) 6740 2100.