Rural dog ownership fees set to rise

Dog owners in the Grant District Council will find their registration fees going up for the first time in two years.

The decision was made at the recent council meeting.

In a report presented to elected members, environmental services director Leith McEvoy compared fees from previous financial years.

Standard fees will increase by $1 to $37.00 and non-standard by $2 to $74.00 per dog.

“Dog registrations are based on two main categories.

“Standard dog is a dog that is both desexed and microchipped, and non-standard is all other dogs,” Mr McEvoy said.

Mr McEvoy said non-standard dogs include those exempt from rules around desexing or microchipping, such as dogs belonging to registered breeders and working livestock dogs.

In 2017 dog registrations were streamlined for consistency throughout the state in readiness for the Dogs and Cats Online (DACO) system.

This took effect in July 2018.

However, in 2020-21 council did not increase fees, which Mr McEvoy said was in response to COVID-19.

“DACO require all fees to be approved by council before the end of May and entered on the online system by the first week of June annually,” he said.

Mr McEvoy said 12% of regional and rural council dog registration fees were kept by DACO.

“The revenue generated allows council to fund the administration and enforcement costs associated with the management of dogs in our council area,” he said.

“As a general principle, the costs associated with the management of dogs should largely be borne by dog owners, rather than by all ratepayers.

“Current income from dog registration and associated dog control fees in 2021-22 is approximately $99,792.

“Direct expenses are $119,459 and in-direct expenses $49,509, resulting in a net cost to council of $69,175 year to date.”

As of July 2018, amendments to the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 made it compulsory for all dogs and cats to be microchipped.

All new generations of dogs and cats born after July 1, 2018 are required to be desexed.

Certain exemptions apply to working dogs and registered breeders.

Council has not resolved to introduce the registration of cats at this time.

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