Changes to penalties for companion animal non compliance.

The State Government has approved increased penalties (fines) for non-compliance with Companion Animal requirements. Rampant non-compliance with the legal requirements of cat and dog ownership has led to many of these increases, which are now in force. Some of the significant increases are as follows:

  • Not having dog or cat microchipped – increased from $165 to $180
  • Dog or cat not registered, first offence – increased from $275 to $330
  • Dog or cat noncompliance with registration notice (second offence) $305
  • Owner/In charge of uncontrolled dog, including dog not on a lead, in a public place – increased from $220 to $330
  • Owner/In charge of dog that attacks, bites, harasses or chases any person or animal – increased from $550 to $1320
  • Former owner not notifying change of ownership to Council - $180
  • Failure to prevent dog escaping - $220
  • Failure to comply with a nuisance dog order - $275
  • Failure to comply with a nuisance cat order $165
  • Not immediately removing dog faeces from public place - $275

Authorised officers such as police, council rangers and other authorised officers can seize and impound animals that have committed offences. Interference with an authorised officer in the performance of his or her duties is an offence.

If you own a dog or cat the best way to avoid any issues is to ensure that your animal is microchipped before taking ownership (this is the law), keep all details up to date (so if lost you can be easily contacted if found) register your dog or cat no later than six months of age (this is the law) and keep all animals under effective control and secure on your property.

For more information on Companion Animals contact Muswellbrook shire Council ranger services on 6549 3700 or visit the Office of Local Government website at:

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