Animal welfare and community safety would be improved in Heathcote under the proposed changes as part of a statutory review of the Companion Animals Regulation.

The Companion Animals Regulation provides for the identification, registration and management of dogs and cats, and the regulation of dangerous and restricted dogs.

The NSW Government is committed to providing the strongest possible regulatory framework to ensure responsible pet ownership, increase the safety of our community and the welfare of our pet dogs and cats.

The Government is encouraging local councils, pet owners and industry representatives to comment on a new draft Companion Animals Regulation which proposes to increase on-the-spot fines for dog attacks and dangerous dog offences and extend discounted registration fees to animals adopted from approved rescue organisations.

A Regulatory Impact Statement has also been released which has found the existing Companion Animals Regulation had made a positive impact on the welfare and management of dogs and cats.

The proposed changes will not only help to reduce dog attacks in the Heathcote local government area but will also increase rehoming rates for dog and cats adopted from local rescue organisations.

The proposed changes include:

  • Allowing animals adopted from approved rescue organisations to access 50 per cent discounts on registration fees to increase rehoming rates
  • Increased on-the-spot fines for dog attacks (from $550 to $1320) and for offences relating to control requirements, sale/advertising and acceptance of ownership of dangerous, menacing or restricted dogs (from $1320 to $1760)
  • A small increase in lifetime pet registration fees from $53 to $55 to allow for annual inflation adjustments. Fees are used to fund council ranger services, pound facilities, educational programs and other companion animal related activities to keep the community and dogs and cats safe.

I encourage our local council and pet owners to make a submission on the proposed changes and help protect the welfare of our beloved pet cats and dogs and increase the safety of our local community.

The new draft Companion Animals Regulation and Regulatory Impact Statement are on public exhibition for comment until 5pm on 22 May 2018.

The documents can be accessed at www.olg.nsw.gov.au. Submissions can be made via the website.