Cheaper dog registration and mandatory de-sexing laws


Victoria Stone-Meadows


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PUPPER: Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu with "Cherry" the greyhound. Image: Supplied.

The cost to register a de-sexed dog with Douglas Shire Council has been reduced from $47 to $25 as of yesterday.

Dog owners who register an entire pet will still need to pay the full fee.

Council hopes the reduced fee will boost de-sexing rates and improve animal welfare in the region.

Council formally adopted the new measures during the 2019-20 fees and charges schedule at yesterday's Ordinary Council Meeting in Mossman.

Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu said the reduced fee would give pet owners an incentive to take their new dogs to the vet and get them de-sexed.

“No one wants to see any animal neglected,” she said. 

“Council hopes that by easing this financial pressure, we can significantly lower the risk of unwanted litters and allow pets to be healthier and happier.

“We are always looking at ways to improve animal welfare by encouraging more people to exercise responsible pet ownership.”

Almost 60 per cent of impounded dogs in the six months to March 2019 were unregistered.

Local Laws Team Leader Sara Roberts said all dogs aged 12 weeks and older must be registered with Council.

“You can register your dog for free if they are under six months old,” she said.

“Registering your pet actually helps us reunite your pet if it goes missing and is impounded, or to notify you in case of an accident.”

Council is also planning to introduce mandatory de-sexing of dogs and cats under new local laws likely to come into effect by August.

The mandatory de-sexing is proposed to start six months after the date of the adoption of new law and as with all of Council’s local laws, failing to comply with the requirement to de-sex may result in the issuing of fines or prosecution.

There will be a number of exemptions to the mandatory de-sexing laws including:

  • A signed vet certificate stating that de-sexing the animal is likely to be a serious risk to their health;
  • The owner is a member of a recognised breeder or show association;
  • The owner holds an animal breeder approval from Council;
  • The Dog is eight-years-old and over.

Dogs that are already registered with Council will not be subject to mandatory de-sexing.

Council intends to spend time in the community educating and assisting people, where possible, to meet obligations of the mandatory de-sexing provision.

An education and advertising campaign will commence following the adoption of the new local laws to better inform the community of their responsibilities.

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