Central Coast residents who own a non-desexed cat or a dog classified as restricted or dangerous could be in for a shock.
The State Government will introduce annual permits for non-desexed cats and restricted and dangerous dogs from July 1 as part of its commitment to promoting responsible pet ownership and improving animal welfare standards.
Owners of cats not desexed by four months of age will be required to pay an $80 annual permit in addition to their one-off lifetime pet registration fee.
This is intended to create a stronger incentive to desex cats, which in turn will improve their health and wellbeing, including reducing the risk of some cancers.
Improving desexing rates will also ease the burden on pounds and shelters, reduce euthanasia rates, and help to address concerns about feral, stray and roaming cats and their effect on wildlife.
Exemptions are in place for cats that are registered by July 1, those kept for breeding purposes by members of recognised breeding bodies, and cats which cannot be de-sexed for medical reasons.
Also from July 1 owners of dogs of a restricted breed or formally declared to be dangerous will be required to pay a $195 annual permit in addition to their one-off lifetime pet registration fee.
This will serve as a further disincentive to owning high-risk dogs and encourage owners to better manage the behaviour of their animal.
Pet owners will be able to pay for annual permits using the NSW Pet Registry website or through Central Coast Council.
Annual permit fees go directly to the Companion Animals Fund which pays for companion animal management by local councils including pounds/shelters, ranger services, dog recreation areas, and education and awareness programs.
The fund is also used to operate the NSW Pet Registry and carry out responsible pet ownership initiatives.
Local Government NSW website, Jun 23