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Saturday, July 24, 2021

ACT dogs to require annual registration under proposed laws

ACT dogs will require annual registration on a new digital database, under a bill being introduced to the Legislative Assembly today.

City Services Minister Chris Steel said the legislation would come into effect on 1 July in a bid to make it easier to reunite lost dogs with their owners.

“The new system will address the challenges we currently face with lifetime registration, as owners rarely tell government when they change address or phone number, transfer their dog’s ownership to someone else, or their pet passes away,” Mr Steel said.

“This can be a particular problem when dog attacks unfortunately happen or there is concern about dangerous dogs.”

Owners can expect to receive a reminder from Domestic Animal Services (DAS) when their dog’s registration requires updating, with the date corresponding to the date the dog was originally registered in the ACT. A transition phase will be in place for people whose reminder date falls in July, when the laws come into effect.

The annual update will be at no additional costs to dog owners, but Mr Steel said the penalty for not updating your dog’s details could be an infringement notice of $150.

“Most Canberrans have the done the right thing, they’ve already registered their dog and they’re responsible pet owners and we expect them to comply with this new legislation.”

Mr Steel said the annual registration requirements will ensure the government has up-to-date information on how many dogs are living in the ACT, where and who owns them.

“It’s important we continue to promote responsible dog ownership and the new digital dog database will provide a platform to educate and regularly communicate with every dog owner on their responsibilities and how to keep their dogs safe and happy.”

He said the Government would use the results of a survey on dog ownership in the ACT to inform the rollout of the database.

Results included communication preferences for dog owners and a regional breakdown of ownership.

The area in the ACT with the highest level of dog ownership is Tuggeranong, followed by Weston/Molonglo, Belconnen, Woden, Inner North, Inner South and Gungahlin.  

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