From 1 July, Canberrans will need to register their dog annually on a digital database, under new dog laws passed in the ACT Legislative Assembly today.
City Services Minister Chris Steel said the laws, introduced to the Assembly in March, would make it easier to reunite lost dogs with their owners, keep track of dangerous dogs and enforce the Territory’s domestic animal laws.
“We know that 95% of dogs that are found roaming by Domestic Animal Services have out of date contact details … because the current microchip system doesn’t allow those details to be updated very easily,” he said.
“It will also allow the Government to deliver better education and services to pet owners and manage dangerous dogs to help prevent and respond to dog attacks.
“These reforms are part of the Canberra dog model that we introduced around a year and a half ago, which is aimed at promoting responsible pet ownership and creating a safer community for pets and their owners.”
Updating or confirming a dog’s details each year will come at no extra cost and owners will receive a reminder from Domestic Animal Services when their registration is due.
RSPCA ACT CEO Michelle Robertson said the new database would mean animals brought to the shelter could be quickly reunited with their owners, with many presenting with out-of-date microchip details.
“So we have a lot of animals … stray animals that don’t get claimed.
“We really welcome this because it gives us additional data and information and ultimately, dogs will be at home, and that’s where they belong.”
Mr Steel said while the new laws only apply to dogs at this stage, the Government is looking at the management of cats in a plan to be released in the coming months.
More information on the requirements for dogs in the ACT can be found on the City Services website.