New steps have been introduced by the NSW Government to promote responsible pet ownership which will see changes to the fees charged to some owners.
Residents in the Macleay who own non-desexed cats by four months of age will be required to pay an $80 annual permit in addition to their pet registration fee.
Residents who own dogs of a restricted breed or formally declared to be dangerous will be required to pay a $195 annual permit in addition to their one-off lifetime pet registration fee.
Council’s Manager Development and Compliance, Graham Snow, said the measures are to encourage people to do the right thing.
“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,” he said.
“Improving de-sexing rates will also lower demand on pounds and shelters and help to address concerns about feral, stray, and roaming cats and their effect on wildlife.
“Annual permits for dangerous and restricted dogs will improve community safety by helping to reduce ownership of high-risk dogs and encouraging owners to better manage the behaviour of their animal.”
The NSW Government has also made a one-off $10 reduction to the lifetime cat registration fee to encourage higher registration rates and adoption of cats from pounds and shelters.
Exemptions are in place for cats that are registered by 1 July 2020, those kept for breeding purposes by members of recognised breeding bodies and cats which cannot be de-sexed for medical reasons.
Local pet owners will be able to pay for the annual permits using the NSW Pet Registry website.
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.