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Dog and Cat Laws

What you need to know

New laws for cat and dog owners and breeders were introduced in South Australia from 1 July 2018. 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 State Government. Owners can download an info sheet from the Dog and Cat Management Board here. Breeders can also download an info sheet here.

Compulsory Desexing

Compulsory for all dogs and cats born after 1 July 2018. All 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

Since 1 July 2018, it's 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, or visit your local vet for more details.

DACO - Dogs and Cats Online

Since 1 July 2018, Dogs and Cats Online (DACO) provides a new way to register your dog (or cat in those councils where cat registration applies). Dog and cat registration, along with the way you manage your pet dog or cat’s microchip, health and breeder information, is simplified through the DACO website. DACO is the central point for all your dog and cat management payments and information, replacing the 68 individual council systems and private microchip databases currently in place. Visit for more details or to update your contact information.

Dog and Cat Laws - Penalties

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

  • Not Registering Your Dog (from 1 July 2017) - Penalty $170 (previously $80)
  • Dog Attack (from 1 July 2017 - Penalty $315 (previously $210)
  • Wandering at Large (from 1 July 2017 - Penalty $210 (previously $80)
  • Failing to Microchip (from 1 July 2018 - Penalty $170
  • Failing to Desex (from 1 July 2018 - Penalty $170