News // 26.3.21

Introduction of annual permits for non-desexed cats and dangerous/restricted dogs

The NSW Government is introducing annual permits for non-desexed cats and restricted and dangerous dogs as part of its commitment to promoting responsible pet ownership and improving animal welfare standards.

We get asked a lot about this subject, so we thought we would answer our most frequently asked questions about annual permits.

What are the new annual permits about?

From 1 July 2020, owners of cats not desexed by four months of age will be required to pay an $80 annual permit in addition to their one-off lifetime pet registration fee.

Why are annual permits being introduced?

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.

Improving de-sexing rates will also lower demand on pounds and shelters, reduce pet euthanasia rates, and help to address concerns about feral, stray, and roaming cats and their effect on wildlife.

The government has also made a one-off $10 re-education to the lifetime cat registration fee to encourage higher registration rates and adoption of cats from pounds and shelters.

How can I avoid the annual permit?

  • Desex your cat by four months of age, or request an exemption letter from Allambie Vet*

  • Don’t own a restricted dog

  • Manage your dog’s behaviour to ensure that it’s not declared dangerous 

*Cats that cannot be desexed, either temporarily or permanently, are exempt from paying an annual permit. One of our vets can supply an exemption letter

What breeds are restricted and what is a dangerous dog?

Restricted dog breeds are the pit bull terrier, American pit bull terrier, Japanese tosa, Argentinian fighting dog, Brazilian fighting dog, and canary mastiff. A dog can also be declared to be one of, or a cross-breed of, one of these restricted breeds.

Dogs of any breed can be formally declared dangerous by a council or court if the dog, without provocation has attacked or killed a person or animal, repeatedly threatened to attack or repeatedly chase a person or animal, or is kept or used for hunting. 

How do I pay for the annual permit?

Pet owners can pay for the annual permits using the NSW Pet Registry website, or through our local Northern Beaches Council.

What is the penalty if pet owners don’t have an annual permit and get caught?

Pet owners who fail to obtain an annual permit risk an on-the-spot fine of $700 for restricted or dangerous dogs and $400 for non-desexed cats.

If taken to court, maximum penalties of $6,600 for restricted or dangerous dogs and $5,500 for non-desexed cats may apply.

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