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ACT Government rolls out new law requiring yearly dog registration

Lachlan Roberts 25 May 2019 85

Mr Steel said the current lifetime registration scheme does not provide an accurate representation of the number of dogs in the ACT. Photos: Supplied.

Canberra dog owners will now have to register their pet on a yearly basis as part of the ACT Government’s new plan to enforce responsible dog ownership and reduce dog attacks.

Minister for City Services Chris Steel released the government’s model for dog management on Friday afternoon (24 May), with an array of new dog laws to help reduce dog attacks in the ACT community.

The Government now requires all dog owners in the ACT to register their pets annually, but the registrations come with no extra cost. Mr Steel said the new law was important to reduce dog attacks, to rehome lost dogs, enforce laws and to keep track of how many dogs there are in the ACT.

Mr Steel said the current lifetime registration scheme does not provide an accurate representation of the number of dogs in the ACT and does not have up-to-date details of dog owners for law enforcement and rehoming lost dogs.

“We now have the strongest dog laws in the country and in order to further reduce the risk of dog attacks in the community, we need to build a community of responsible dog owners,” Mr Steel said.

“We need clear rules that are enforced and incentives to support dog owners to be more responsible.

“Canberra’s model of dog management will lead to a safer community not only for dog owners but also the wider community with a range of reforms that will make the ACT an international leader in dog management.”

Labor member for Ginninderra Tara Cheyne and Minister for City Services Chris Steel.

Mr Steel said the Government will roll out a new education campaign in the coming weeks to educate the community on the new laws.

“We know there are many dog owners that are doing the right thing, but there are others that are putting the community – and other dogs, at risk through their lack of care,” Mr Steel said.

“We are changing the rules to make it clear: if your dog is on a street or a footpath area it must be on a leash, or you will be fined. Only certain ovals and parks will be off-leash and these will be clearly sign-posted.

The new laws will be enforced with the addition of a new six-person compliance team next month that will be highly visible in the community issuing infringements for dog owners doing the wrong thing, with fines ranging from $500 t0 $2,400.

The Government will also roll out dog bag dispensers and bins in key dog walking areas across the city.

Other new key initiatives include opportunities for free microchipping and registration, working with the RSPCA ACT on a discounted desexing program and education programs on bite prevention.

Keep an eye out for these doggy dropping bag dispensers.


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85 Responses to
ACT Government rolls out new law requiring yearly dog registration
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Capital Retro 4:10 pm 30 May 19

The ACT government is now registering everything that moves – except bicycles.

1:28 pm 27 May 19

Completely agree Carol Marshall. My ability to enjoy walking a small dog on a lead is ruined by dogs running off lead. And I’m sick to death of people who say THEIR dog is fine and under control. Just about every dog attack I’ve seen is preceded by “don’t worry he won’t hurt anyone”.

Grimm 11:21 am 27 May 19

I wouldn’t be doing anything if you already paid for lifetime registration.

Also wouldn’t bother registering dogs in future.

If you believe this “no additional cost” thing will last more than a year or so and suddenly change, you need your head read. Once they think they have info on the majority of dogs, I guarantee there will be an annual fee. So, just don’t register your dogs. Who is going to police it anyway?

8:42 am 27 May 19

So...are we being refunded the lifetime registration fee we already paid?

7:27 am 27 May 19

How do they propose to 'police' this legislation?

    12:59 pm 27 May 19

    It's in the article:

    The new laws will be enforced with the addition of a new six-person compliance team next month that will be highly visible in the community issuing infringements for dog owners doing the wrong thing, with fines ranging from $500 to $2,400.

10:55 pm 26 May 19

Next we’ll need registration to leave the house

8:30 pm 26 May 19

I think yearly registration is ridiculous and I agree now it’s a matter of time until it’s charged every year.

As for being a responsible owner - I can tell you right now the people who aren’t wont bother with this registration, it’s only for the (already responsible) owners.

As for the RSPCA, I dearly love your organisation and the work you do, but the intrusion of checking your yard (if your getting a bigger dog) annoys me. (On that note we do have a large yard and my dog is beloved by our family!)

I know and believe everybody has the right to feel safe, but that should also extend to (as people have said) not approaching an unknown dog without consent, and responsible ownership of all animals (yep cats are my bugbear here).

‘Community safety’ - it feels a bit like a witch hunt if I’m honest.

    10:35 pm 26 May 19

    Susie Deards I don't live in ACT but totally agree with your comments Susie - what about cat owners that let their moggies roam at night upsetting my dog and killing wildlife

8:25 pm 26 May 19

Money money money ...that’s all it is 😞

8:19 pm 26 May 19

give it a year then they will put a tax on registrations

Roo Poeta 7:06 pm 26 May 19

Let us wait and see how much fines they really issue. Officers – Any evening come to Ngunnawal school playground, Giralang, Macgregor – big dogs are always offleash in playgrounds where kids play or the trails where kids ride. There is a disaster waiting to happen, I hope it can averted by some real fines issued.

3:09 pm 26 May 19

Give the dogs a yellow vest ?

3:05 pm 26 May 19

I understand the onus is on the dog owner to cotrol their dogs but people and children should not try to touch the dog unless the dog has shown willingness. Too many people make that mistake.

3:03 pm 26 May 19

Can we get leads for the of the owners too :)

1:01 pm 26 May 19

Can we have cat registration too! And maybe cats on leads

And can people stop allowing their children to approach dogs on their own. It happens to my dog all the time. I tie her whilst grabbing a coffee. I see kids pat her not only without asking but unsupervised...... and that’ll be my fault too if she reacts.

bj_ACT 12:56 pm 26 May 19

Crackdown with new laws on dogs, ignore new laws on motorcycle gangs.

When is ACT Labor going to focus on the bigger issues of residents, not new laws that will never be consistently enforced.

11:15 am 26 May 19

No additional cost .... for now but you cannot trust them not to leverage this in the future to fill revenue gaps. Owning a pet should not automatically mean you have to pay tax to own them.

I think enough pets are dumped as it is.

nothappyjan 9:43 am 26 May 19

You can be assured that free annual registration will last exactly 1 year until Andrew Barr’s stared attraction “the tram” requires more funding and they add up how many suckers, I mean dog owners, can now get Andrew Barr’s sole solution to everything, higher taxes….

9:30 am 26 May 19

Can we PLEASE have rangers doing random sweeps of areas where dogs are let off leash illegally? Our hill (Goodwin, Macgregor) is not an off leash area - yet we are plagued with free-running dogs. People say "My dog's friendly". Well our on lead dog isn't happy with dogs leaping on her. Please control your dogs.

    6:00 pm 26 May 19

    Carol Marshall agree!! Drake brockman drive is another shocker where people think the dirt footpath area is their dogs play area!

    10:42 pm 26 May 19

    Carol Marshall My little dog has been attacked several times by dogs ON LEADS but never by dogs off leads on the beach or in a park, I hate the way people drag their dog down the street on leads, dogs can be taught to walk with you off lead just as well as on lead - it's about the humans the're with.

    11:20 pm 26 May 19

    Therese Crollick if your dog walks happily by your side then put it on a lead. It will do exactly the same.

9:20 am 26 May 19

Revenue raising.....

9:04 am 26 May 19

How are they going to police the new laws? If we are paying annual fees, I expect that to happen. I expect that the government cracks down on off leash walking in leashes areas. I expect that they prosecute the owners of dog attacks etc. otherwise, it’s just revenue raising!

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