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File Reference No: New Dog & Cat Reform 2018

New dog and cat laws as of the 1 July 2018 Changes include, compulsory microchipping, desexing and breeder registration

Dog & Cat Reforms


New laws for cat and dog owners will be soon introduced in South Australia.  These changes are designed to improve dog and cat management and welfare and are the result of years of planning and public consultation.

Compulsory Microchipping and Desexing


From 1 July 2018 it will be compulsory for all dogs and cats above a certain age to be microchipped and all dogs and cats after that date to be desexed.  There will be certain exemptions for working dogs and registered breeders.

Microchipping is a safe and permanent way to identify your dog and cat.  The procedure is quick, with no ongoing discomfort and can be carried out by a trained, authorised implanter.

Visit or for more details.


Compulsory Breeder Registration


From 1 July 2018, anyone that breeds a dog or cat for sale or trade must register as a breeder with the Dog and Cat Management Board.  The pre-registry form can be accessed on the Dog and Cat Board's website.


New Fines and Expiations from 1 July 2018


From 1 July 2018, many fines and expiations for irresponsible dog and cat owners will increase.

These tougher penalities, along with increased council powers to investigate and prosecute offenses, including the ability to seize evidence and compel owners to give their name and address, will help address the problem of dog attacks, and remind owners of their legal responsibilities.  For further information please visit

New Rules and Powers


New rules will apply to breeders and sellers.  There will be guidelines and industry standards that stipulate minumum welfare conditions.  Council will have greater powers under the revised laws, including increases in some expiations and penalties.

DACO - a new way to register your dog and cat


Dog and cat registration, along with the way you manage your pet and cat management payments and information, replacing the 68 individual council systems and private microchip databases currently in place.

Changes to dog registration categories


As of 2017, dog registrations in South Australia has been simplified.  Your dog now falls under one or two simple categories.  These changes have been made to streamline registration categories throughout the state.

  • Standard Dog - a dog that is both microchipped and desexed
  • Non-Standard Dog - All other dogs, including those with exemptions

For further information about these changes are available by reading the Dog and Cat Reforms 2018 or by visiting