April 17, 2013
The South Burnett Regional Council is cracking down on unregistered dogs and cats in the region’s towns.
From May 13 to October 11 this year, inspection officers will be visiting homes to check for unregistered pets.
Under the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008, all Queensland councils are now obliged to ensure all dogs and cats kept in residential areas are registered.
The Act was introduced partly to encourage responsible pet ownership; partly to reduce the large number of dogs and cats being euthanased each year; and partly to reduce the impact of feral dogs and cats on the environment.
Apart from compulsory registration, the Act requires all dogs and cats born after the legislation was introduced to be microchipped, and tattooed if desexed.
At its monthly meeting today the SBRC voted to launch a Systematic Inspection Program (SIP) to find unregistered pets.
This is the first SIP the council has run since pet registration was introduced.
The program will operate Mondays to Fridays between 9:00am and 5:00pm in Kingaroy, Kumbia, Crawford, Memerambi, Taabinga, Wooroolin, Nanango, Blackbutt, Benarkin, Maidenwell, Wondai, Proston, Tingoora, Mondure, Hivesville and Murgon.
The SIP will give council officers the power to enter an owner’s property with the owner’s consent, or get a warrant to enter the property if the owner refuses.
Inspection officers have the power to issue on-the-spot fines of $200 upwards.
If an unregistered dog or cat is impounded and the owner wants to save their pet, they will then face hefty fees to recover their pets from the pound. They’ll also face the cost of registration (as well as microchipping, if the animal was born after the Act was introduced).
Council officers told southburnett.com.au today they were running the SIP because the council was obliged to by law.
However, they would prefer it if unregistered pet owners registered their pets before the SIP got underway.
Annual South Burnett dog and cat registrations currently range from $27 for a desexed, microchipped animal to $142 for an entire, non-microchipped animal.
UPDATE June 11: Council says it has seen a dramatic increase in the number of dogs and cats being registered. Cr Kathy Duff, spokesperson for Natural Resource Management, said pet owners had been volunteering to register their pets, with council currently registering more than 50 dogs and cats each week.