With the recent introduction of the new cat laws, and some changes for dog owners too there's a little confusion circulating in the community regarding what's required.
It's worth noting that the City of Greater Geraldton were not the instigators of the new laws. These requirements are State Government laws, that came about after years of lobbying from the Cat Haven in Perth and other organisations. Many thousands of cats get put down each year, and the numbers of cats abandoned or drowned illegally is shocking.
Hopefully over time, the new laws will mean the only people breeding cats are those who are responsible and have made the deliberate decision to.
In the information below, the city says they will be "working with the community to ensure smooth implementation of the Act and will allow members of the public time to meet the requirements". So if you're having a hard time paying for the microchipping or registration, have a chat to the Rangers at the city. Their goal is to get everyone on board and seem to understand it might take some people a little bit of time.
(updated) The City will not register cats unless they are micro-chipped and sterilised as per the Cat Act 2011. Cat owners are therefore encouraged to get their cat sterilised and microchipped prior to registration. (The City apologises for the previous information and regrets if it has caused any inconvenience.)
The City is legally bound to comply with any act including the new Cat Act 2011, the City will however, be working with the community to ensure smooth implementation of the Act and will allow members of the public time to meet the requirements of this Act by getting their animals microchipped and sterilised before registration.
The City believes local vets are heavily booked with both cats and dogs for sterilisation and microchipping, trying to assist people to comply with both the Cat Act and Dog Act, which has changes also.
City rangers are about to undergo training to microchip animals so this can be done at the Animal Management Facility (pound) before any an animal is released. (This will be done at the owner’s cost).
New cat owners must ensure they sterilise, microchip and register their cats to ensure they are compliant with the Act. It is very difficult for the City to know who has cats and if those cats are registered, sterilised and microchipped. But if registered and they come to the City’s attention there is a very good chance they will be reunited with their owner.
Some more pertinent information: Changes to the Dog Act
Parliament passes amendments to the Dog Act 1995
As well as the introduction of a new Cat Act, Parliament passed amendments to the Dog Act 1995 on October 24, 2013 with an increase in fees and penalties and a requirement for microchipping, to become law on November 1.
Some of the key changes are: all pups and other dogs over the age of 3 months being registered for the first time, and dogs where ownership is changing will need to be microchipped; all dangerous dogs must be microchipped by November 30 2013, however there is some reprieve for those dogs who are having their registration renewed, they have until November 1, 2015 to be microchipped. No dog will be released from the Animal Management Facility (pound) before being microchipped – at the owner’s expense.
The new legislated costs to register a sterilised dog is $20 for one year; $42.50 for three years and $100 for lifetime registration. Pensioners enjoy a 50 per cent discount. Unsterilised dogs: $50 per dog per year or $120 per dog for three years or $250 per dog for lifetime registration.
Remember, pensioners pay 50 per cent of the full fees.