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New dog and cat laws

New laws for dog and cat owners and breeders were 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 by the Dog and Cat Management Board and the SA Government.

What you need to know about the changes

Compulsory Desexing

Compulsory for all dogs and cats born after 1 July 2018. From 1 July 2018 all new generations of dogs and cats (born after 1 July 2018) must be desexed by a certain age (unless exempted under the Act or if it is an existing dog born before 1 July 2018).

Compulsory Microchipping

It’s compulsory for all dogs and cats. From 1 July 2018, it will be compulsory for all dogs and cats to be microchipped. This applies to all existing dogs and cats. If your dog is microchipped before renewing your 2017/2018 registration, provide us with the information and you will be eligible for the additional rebate on your registration.

Discount Microchipping

Discount microchipping days are offered throughout the state at various times of the year. Visit,, or visit your local vet for more details.

DACO - Dogs and Cats Online

The most significant change is the registration process for your pet. Dog and cat registrations will be managed through Dogs and Cats Online, a one-stop online service for all annual registration payments, as well as dog and cat microchipping, desexing and breeder details.

Renewal notices will be sent to dog and cat owners in mid July. The notices will include instructions on how to log on to Dogs and Cats Online to manage your pets’ information and pay the annual registration fee.

The City of Victor Harbor will be providing support to those who don’t have internet access or feel they need assistance to use the new online portal. Throughout July and August owners will be able to attend the Victor Harbor Public Library at 1 Bay Road, Victor Harbor to get assistance logging in and completing their registration renewal on the following days:

  • Mondays – 9.30am to 11am
  • Tuesdays – 3pm to 5pm
  • Wednesdays – 4pm to 6pm
  • Thursdays – 3pm to 5pm
  • Friday – 9.30am to 11am

The new registration process will also see registered dogs issued with a permanent registration number and once-off grey coloured disc. There will be no registration discs for cats.

Dog and Cat Laws - Penalties

Doing the right thing will not only make you a responsible pet owner, but also help avoid the new and increased penalties.

Penalties are set by the SA Government’s Dog and Cat Management Board. The new penalties are outlined below:

Expiation fee for not registering your dog                             $170 (previously $80)

Expiation fee for dog attack                                                $315 (previously $210)

Expiation fee for wandering at large                                     $210 (previously $80)

Failing to microchip your dog (from July 2018)                      $170

Failing to de-sex your dog (from July 2018)                         $170

Related links

Information for dog owners
Information for cat owners