A bid to give South Burnett pensioners a flat 50 per cent discount on all dog registration fees was narrowly defeated  at October’s Council meeting; instead, pensioners will be advised  to ensure their dog is desexed and microchipped

October 21, 2021

South Burnett pensioners who own dogs will need to ensure their pets are desexed and microchipped if they want to claim the maximum discount on their annual dog registrations.

At October’s General Meeting, Councillors rejected a proposal to apply a flat 50 per cent discount to all dog registration fees for pensioners.

At present, pensioners who own a desexed, microchipped dog pay an annual fee of $16.50 if they live in a town area or $10 if they live outside one.

But pensioners who own an entire dog can face a fee as high as $170 a year, which drops to $131 if the dog is microchipped.

Assistance dogs for vision or hearing impaired people, or registered companion dogs, are free throughout the region.

Cr Danita Potter said she thought the registration fees placed an unfair burden on pensioners who owned entire dogs and faced having to pay several hundred dollars to get their animals desexed.

She moved that all pensioners who receive an aged or disability pension should receive a flat 50 per cent discount on all dog registration fees, a motion seconded by Cr Kathy Duff.

In a report to Council on the matter, officers noted there were currently 3650 dogs in the region’s defined areas, and 616 of these (about 20 per cent) were owned by pensioners.

Council records also showed that 82 per cent of the 3650 dogs were already desexed.

This meant the maximum number of entire dogs owned by pensioners in defined areas was likely to be about 110.

Officers also noted Council was obliged by the Animal Management Act of 2008 to fix dog registration fees so they provided the owner of a dog an incentive to desex it.

The Act was designed to encourage responsible pet ownership and discourage the spread of feral dogs.

When the issue was put to a vote, it was defeated 4 to 3, with Crs Potter, Duff and Otto in favour and Crs Schumacher, Henschen, Frohloff and Jones opposed.

Speaking after the meeting, Cr Potter said she accepted the majority decision of Council however she recommended anyone wanting to get a dog should contact the Kingaroy RSPCA.

All dogs sold from RSPCA kennels were already desexed and microchipped, which would guarantee their owners the smallest possible annual registration fee.

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