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Changes to the Act

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. 


These changes to the law are being phased in, from 1 July 2017 to 1 July 2018.

The changes, and when they begin.

1 July 2017

  • Increased council powers to investigate and prosecute breaches of the Act
  • Increased fines and penalties for those who break the law

1 August 2017

1 July 2018


South Australia's new dog and cat laws are based on extensive consultation, stretching back to 2014.

On Sunday 19th April 2015 the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation announced that a draft bill containing proposed legislative amendments to the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 had been developed.

The amendments contained joint recommendations of the Dog and Cat Management Board, Local Government Association, Select Committee for Dogs and Cats as Companion Animals and the Government’s election commitments outlined in Let’s Keep Building South Australia.

The aims of the proposed changes were to improve dog and cat management and welfare in South Australia and improve the consistency of legislation across a number of Local Government Acts.

The draft Bill contained a number of amendments including the following:

  • Mandatory microchipping of dogs and cats.
  • A requirement for anyone who breeds dogs and cats for sale to be registered.
  • Extended powers for council Authorised Persons to manage cats
  • Increased penalties for people who allow their dog to wander or attack.

In response to the comments from the public consultation on the Bill, the Government established a formal public consultation process to explore ways to reduce the 10,000 unwanted dogs and cats being euthanized each year in South Australia and to investigate if mandatory desexing would provide a solution.

In October the Government responsed to the recommendations and announced that mandatory desexing would be incorporated into the draft Bill.

On the 18 November 2015 the Dog and Cat Management (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2015 was introduced  into Parliament.  

You can read more about the public consultation at, or click on the links below:


Draft Regulations


Dog and cat reform - public consultation
Draft code of practice for breeders/sellers