New Dog and Cat Laws

The State Government has introduced new laws for all dog and cat owners which come into effect on 1 July 2018.

These laws aim to increase the return to owner rate of lost dogs and cats and reduce the number of dogs and cats ending up in animal shelters.

Statewide Dogs and Cats Online Database (DACO)

From 1 July 2018, a new state-wide online database will simplify dog registration across the state. Similar to the State Government’s vehicle registration system, owners will be able to renew their dog’s registration, register new dogs, update contact information, change an animal’s address or report your dog as lost via a secure online website.

Council will continue to provide an over-the-counter service to help owners transition to the new system; or in situations where owners are unable to access online services or pay online.

DACO will become the centralised point for all dog registrations as well as the state register for dog and cat microchipping and will replace numerous existing national databases.

Vets will be update information such as a desexing or microchipping status which will remove the need to present a sterilisation certificate to Council for registration purposes. DACO will also interface with other government databases to instantly validate concessions.

Dogs will be issued with a lifetime registration number. This will replace annual plastic registration discs and will reduce costs and environmental impacts associated with producing, distributing and disposing around 300,000 plastic discs across the state annually.

Owners will have the opportunity to purchase a permanent registration disc through DACO or have the dog’s registration number engraved on a tag of their choice.

Owners of registered dogs will soon receive correspondence explaining the changes, as well as information on registering your dog on the new online system.


From 1 July 2018, all dogs and cats must be microchipped. Microchipping is a safe and permanent means of identifying your dog for life.

For pets born or acquired after this date they must be microchipped at the point of sale or by 3 months of age.  Veterinarians may provide exemptions for medical reasons.

Council is holding another discounted microchip day on Saturday 5 May 2018 at the Lyndoch Institute Hall, Barossa Valley Way, Lyndoch in association with, Please visit ChipBlitz website to make a booking.



Dogs and cats born after 1 July 2018 will need to be desexed by 6 months of age, or within 28 days of taking ownership.

Exemptions apply for working livestock dogs or registered breeders. Veterinarians may also exempt an animal from these requirements for medical reasons.

Desexing provides a range of benefits. Research shows that desexing has a positive impact on a dog’s health and temperament. Desexing can also reduce aggressive behaviour, the inclination to wander and other nuisance behaviours such as excessive barking


Breeders of Dogs and Cats

From 1 July 2018, anyone who breeds or sell a dog or cat must register as a breeder, through DACO, and will be provided a breeder registration number.

These new laws aim to improve the standards associated with the breeding and sale of dogs and cats.

Breeders will be obliged to provide their breeder registration number in any advertisements which will give some extra peace of mind to purchasers that the dog or cat has been bred by a reputable breeder and in accordance with new guidelines or codes of practice.

Owners who intend to keep an entire dog, which should otherwise be desexed, will be required to register as a breeder.

A fee will accompany breeder registrations which will be paid to the State Government.

Dog Registration

In addition to the legislative changes detailed above, the Government has reduced the number of registration classes to simplify dog registration across the State. New registration terms are aimed at desexed and microchipped dogs becoming the norm. 

Council has determined that it will not increase its dog registration fees for the coming 2018/2019 financial year and will keep its maximum registration fee at $80.00.

A standard dog, is one that is both desexed and microchipped. Dogs in this category will be eligible for a 50% rebate on their dog registration. With further rebates being available for concession card holders and those that meet training requirements. An owner that qualifies for all rebates could pay as little as $16.00 a year for their dog’s registration.

A non-standard dog is one that is not both desexed and microchipped and will be subject to higher registration fees. This fee structure encourages owners to desex and microchip their dogs in line with the State Government’s intent. A 50% concession rebate is available to owners of non-standard dogs.

Whilst dogs born before 1 July 2018 are not required to be desexed, owners are encouraged to both desex and microchip their dogs to be eligible for reduced registration fees.

Working Livestock Dog are dogs that are used by primary producers and farmers for the tending, herding or droving of livestock. The dogs must be used primarily for this purpose and may be subject to random inspections to confirm working livestock dog status.

New Fines and Expiations

Under these new laws, tougher penalties for irresonsible dog and cat owners have also increased from 1 July 2017.

To read the official media report please select the link.  

 For more information please visit the Dog and Cat Management Board website.