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December 8th 2010
Free tags, registration for cats on way

Townsville City Council will offer an 18-month fee-free amnesty period and free identification tags for all cats registered as part of the mandatory adoption of new local laws governing animal management under the State-wide Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008.

The legislation, due to come into effect on December 10, obliges councils to enforce registration of cats with a requirement for microchipping of cats under 12 weeks

All other cats over the age of 12 weeks will have to be registered, but not microchipped, by March next year.

An initial outlay of more than $24,000 has been set aside to cover the cost of the tags as well as microchip scanners for each of the city’s animal management patrol vehicles, a further 20 cat traps for free hire to the public and the purchase of 12 cat holding cages for the RSPCA.

The law also provides that all puppies be microchipped before 12 weeks of age from 10 December 2010 onwards. Puppies over the age of 12 weeks at 10 December 2010 will not require microchipping unless they are given away or sold.

Community Safety and Health Committee chairman Cr Dale Last said the laws were aimed at reducing the number of unwanted pets in Queensland.

“While complaints made to council against cats are very few when compared to dogs, there’s no denying that unwanted cats are a problem,” Cr Last said.

Cr Last said Council had decided on free registration as well as free tags to encourage broad take-up of the new laws.

Council would also foot the bill for local advertising while registration forms will be widely available and have been designed to make registration as easy as possible.

“In responding to the mandatory introduction of this State law, Council has tried to make the changeover as easy as possible for the community,” Cr Last said.

“The focus is on achieving the maximum benefit for pet owners and a good outcome for council as the regulatory body.”

For more information visit Council’s website at www.townsville.qld.gov.au or the Queensland Government website www.dip.qld.gov.au/catsanddogs.

Following is a Q & A provided by Council to help pet owners navigate the new rules:

Do I need to register my cat or dog?
Yes – all cats must be registered by 30 June 2011. Council is offering free registration up to that date. Yes – all dogs must currently be registered with council.

Do I need to microchip my cat or dog?
Yes, if you have acquired the cat after 10 December 2010. Yes, if you have acquired the dog after 10 December 2010. Yes, if the dog is classified as a Regulated Dog.

Do I need to microchip my kitten or puppy?
Yes – all new kittens must be microchipped before 12 weeks of age from 10 December 2010 onwards. If your kitten is over the age of 12 weeks at 10 December 2010 it will not require microchipping. Yes – all puppies must be microchipped before 12 weeks of age. If your puppy is over the age of 12 weeks at 10 December 2010 it will not require microchipping.

In what instance must I implant a microchip in my cat or dog?
Implanting a microchip in your cat or dog is only compulsory in 3 cases:
(1)If your cat or dog is younger than 12 weeks when the legislation commences;
(2)If the ownership of the dog or cat changes after the legislation commences;
(3)If a dog is a regulated dog i.e. a restricted dog or declared a dangerous or menacing dog.

My cat may have kittens after 10 December, do the kittens need to be microchipped?
Yes. All kittens born after 10 December must be microchipped before reaching 12 weeks of age.

I’m giving away my six year old dog, does it require microchipping?
Yes. Any dog that is changing owners after 10 December must be microchipped. It is the new owners’ responsibility to microchip the dog.

I own a 16 year-old cat, does it require microchipping or registration?
Your cat must be registered with council, and free registration is available until June 2011. If you sell or give away your cat the new owner will need to have it microchipped however council recommends microchipping your animal as a further means of identification.

I own a two-year old, registered dog. Do I need to microchip him? No. If you sell or give away your dog the new owner will need to have it microchipped. However, council recommends microchipping your animal as a further means of identification.

My kitten will be 11 weeks old at 10 December, how will these laws affect me?
You must microchip your cat and you are required to register your cat with council which you can do for free before June 2011.

Do all dogs and cats need to be registered?
Yes. This is irrespective of where the animal is kept, namely on a residential allotment or a rural property. The only exception is for a “working dog”. The definition of a “working dog” means a dog usually kept or proposed to be kept –
(1)on rural land; and
(2)by an owner who is a primary producer, or a person engaged or employed by a primary producer; and
(3)primarily for the purpose of –
a. droving, protecting, tending, or working stock; or
b. being trained in droving, protecting, tending, or work stock

Owners are encouraged to implant microchips in their cats and dogs regardless of age however as it ensures these pets can be quickly reunited with the owners after separation.


Free tags, registration for cats on way
 
2 comments
 
Cat Lover
December 8th 2010
How are owners of older cats going to get their cats , especially they are older cats to wear a collar with a tag on it. This is also dangerous as the collar can get stuck in a tree or on an obstacle and could hang the cat. Surely microchiping is enough. My cats wear collars and are microchipped but lived indoors and on an enclosed verandah. They would have long been gone with the cane toads and death adders by now if they had been allowed to roam. I will not be registering them.
 
Jill Edwards-Davis
December 9th 2010
I have two cats, one extremely elderly, and one about 5 years old. The elderly cat was microchipped under a previous free scheme (2001) when we moved to the island. The younger one was purchased from the pound and came ready-chipped.
Collars are difficult for cats - but a proper cat collar with a strong elastic insert is a pretty good answer. Making it known to the local kids that there will be a reward for the return of collars removed by the cats cuts down the expense when you have a dedicated non-collar-wearer.
Both my cats live largely indoors, with access to an outside run (the full length of the house, so they CAN run) and a "sun park" with grass and a hammock. Both still manage to escape from time to time, mainly by looking pathetic at the door when we have guests. Fortunately they seem to have forgotten why they were shut in, and regard it as a game - if they get out, they rush to the front of the house and make sure we can see them, then happily stroll in at the front door with smirks on their faces.
I love cats. I also love wildlife. Cats do not belong on the island; wildlife does. If we are going to keep a cat here, it is surely our responsibility to do our best to ensure they are unable to indulge their natural instinct to hunt. Cruel? Well, if you feel that way, the answer is simple - don't have a cat!


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