People who own restricted dog breeds, dogs that have been declared dangerous or cats that are not de-sexed will be required to pay new annual fees from 1 July 2020.
The new charges are the result of changes to the NSW Government’s Companion Animals Act which aim to encourage pet owners to better manage the behaviour of their cats and dogs.
“It is important for cat owners in the Byron Shire to know that from 1 July, they will have to pay an annual fee of $80 for any cat that that is not de-sexed by four months of age,” Shannon Burt, Director Sustainable Economy and Environment, said.
This is in addition to the one-off pet registration fee.
The aim of the new annual charges is to encourage people to de-sex their cats and help address concerns about feral, stray and roaming animals,” Ms Burt said.
Exemptions will be in place for cats that are registered by 1 July 2020 and for cats that are kept for breeding purposes by members of recognised breeding organisations.
Owners of dogs that are deemed to be restricted breeds, such as American Pitbull Terriers, Pitbull Terriers and Japanese Tosas will also have to pay an annual fee of $195 in addition to the one-off pet registration fee.
This also applies to any dog declared by a council to be a restricted dog or dogs that are declared dangerous.
Byron Shire Council has written to all owners of dogs that will be subject to the new charges and advised them of the changes.
The new charges are being implemented by Councils across NSW from 1 July 2020.