Changes to the Dog and Cat Management Act

New laws for all dog and cat owners

New laws for cat and dog owners will come into effect on 1 July 2018.

The laws and rules include:

  • Mandatory microchipping of cats and dogs
  • Desexing of dogs and cats born after the 1 July 2018
  • New rules for breeders who sell dogs and cats
  • Introduction of a State-wide database, called Dogs and Cats Online.

These new laws and rules will simplify dog registration process, make it easier to reunite lost dogs and cats with their owners, help identify and put a stop to puppy farms and reduce euthanasia rates.


From 1 July, owners must microchip their dogs and cats by 12 weeks of age or at the point of sale. Veterinarians may exempt an animal for medical reasons. Owners are encouraged to take advantage of the numerous discount microchipping days throughout the state. Visit for upcoming dates, locations and to make a booking. Alternatively, contact your local vet.


Dogs and cats born after the 1 July must be desexed by 6 months of age or 28 days after purchase by the owner. Working livestock dogs as well as dogs and cats owned by registered breeders will be exempt from the requirement to desex, however will still need to be microchipped.


People who breed dogs and cats for sale after 1 July 2018 must register with the Dog and Cat Management Board as a breeder. Your breeder registration number must be included in all advertisements for a dogs and cats. There are new requirements to disclose the breeder registration number and other information to the buyer at the point of sale. New standards and guidelines document for anyone who breeds or sells dogs or cats is avaliable here: Standards and Guidelines for the Breeding and Trading of Dogs(423 kb)

Dogs and Cats Online

From 1 July 2018, Dogs and Cats Online will be the central database for microchipped and registered dogs and cats and registration payments. Dogs and Cats Online will also be the register of breeders.

Existing dog owners should receive a renewal notice in the mail during July 2018 with their dog’s new lifetime registration disc (replacing the annual disc) and instructions on how to complete their annual dog registration on Dog and Cats Online. If you do not receive a renewal notice for your dog, please contact your council.

New laws - better outcomes

Following a long public consultation process, South Australia has new laws for the management of companion dogs and cats. The amended Dog and Cat Management Act 1995, and new Dog and Cat Management Regulations 2017, represent the biggest change to the state's dog and cat laws in more than 20 years. The new laws also provide for much tighter management of cats.  Click her to view a summary of the new dog and cat laws(86 kb)


These changes to the law are being phased in, which means some new laws are already in place, while others will not take effect until 1 July 2018. Click here for the Dog and Cat Reforms  doc

  • All owned dogs and cats must be microchipped
  • All dogs and cats (born after 1 July 2018) must be desexed. Exemptions apply for registered breeders, working livestock dogs, etc. Desexing deferments available for larger breeds
  • All breeders will be required to register with the Dog and Cat Management Board. They will then be issued with an official breeder registration number.
  • New rules for anyone selling a litter, including a requirements list contact details and an official breeder number in advertisements.

For further information click here: