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Dog and Cat Reforms

Title: Dog and Cat Reforms


New laws for cat and dog owners come into effect on 1 July 2018

The laws and rules include:

  • Mandatory microchipping of cats and dogs
  • Desexing of dogs and cats born after the 1 July 2018
  • New rules for breeders who sell dogs and cats
  • Introduction of a statewide database, called Dogs and Cats Online.

These new laws will simplify dog registration process, make it easier to reunite lost dogs and cats with their owners, help identify and put a
stop to puppy farms and reduce euthanasia rates.

New laws - better outcomes

Following a long public consultation process, South Australia has new laws for the management of companion dogs and cats. The amended Dog and Cat Management Act 1995, and new Dog and Cat Management Regulations, represent the biggest change to the state's dog and cat laws in more than 20 years. The new laws also provide for much tighter management of cats. Cat owners can read more, at


These changes to the law are being phased in, which means some new laws are already in place, while others will not take effect until 1 July 2018.

The changes, and when they begin.

1 July 2017

  • Increased council powers to investigate and prosecute breaches of the Act
  • Increased fines and penalties for those who break the law

1 August 2017

1 July 2018

  • All owned dogs and cats must be microchipped by 12 weeks of age
  • All dogs and cats (born after 1 July 2018) must be desexed by 6 months of age. Exemptions apply for registered breeders, working livestock dogs, etc. Desexing deferments available for larger breeds
  • All breeders will be required to register with the Dog and Cat Management Board. They will then be issued with an official breeder registration number.
  • New rules for anyone selling a litter, including a requirements list contact details and an official breeder number in advertisements.


South Australia's new dog and cat laws are based on extensive consultation, stretching back to 2014, including a citizens' jury process, and several rounds of public consultation.

You can read more about the public consultation at, or click on the links below: