State government introduces new fee for non-desexed cats, dangerous dogs and restricted breeds

Owners of non-desexed cats and restricted and dangerous dogs will have to pay a new permit from the start of next month.

The state government is introducing new fees for cats which are not desexed, dangerous dogs and restricted dog breeds as part of its commitment to promote responsible pet ownership and improve animal welfare standards.

From July 1, non-desexed cats, dangerous dogs and restricted dog breeds will now incur an annual fee in addition to the one-off lifetime pet registration.

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Owners of cats not desexed by four months of age will be required to pay an $80 annual fee and owners of restricted and dangerous dogs will be required to pay a $195 annual permit, which will also be applied to dogs of these categories that are already registered.

A Moree Plains Shire Council spokesperson said the annual fee is to encourage pet owners to take responsibility for their pets by having them desexed, managing their behaviour and discouraging the ownership of high-risk dogs.

"Improving desexing rates among cats will address concerns about feral, stray and roaming cats as well as ease the burden on pounds and shelters, reduce euthanasia rates, and reduce their effect on wildlife," the spokesperson said.

Exemptions are provided for cats registered by July 1 that are kept for breeding purposes by recognised breeding bodies or which cannot be desexed for medical reasons. No exemptions will be provided for owners of dogs of a restricted breed or those that are declared dangerous.

Pet owners will be able to pay for annual permits using the NSW Pet Registry website or through Moree Plains Shire Council.

Annual permit fees will go directly to the NSW Government's Companion Animals Fund which provides support for companion animal management by local councils including pounds/shelters, ranger services, dog recreation areas, and education and awareness programs. The fund is also used to operate the NSW Pet Registry and to fund responsible pet ownership initiatives.

To register your pet online, visit https://www.petregistry.nsw.gov.au/#/userinfo/1.