Stronger dog controls with new legislation

CAT and dog owners should register their pets before prices go up on January 1.

The lifetime registration fee increases are part of a raft of changes that were implemented in November as part of the NSW Companion Animals Amendment Act 2013.

The new state laws mean councils have more options to encourage responsible pet ownership and deal with dangerous dogs.

The councils will now be more able to enforce lifetime registration of cats and dogs.

New penalties include an on-the-spot fine of $275 for failing to register a cat or dog by six months of age.

An owner who receives notice from council to register their cat or dog has 14 days to do so. Failing to comply may also result in a $275 penalty. Compulsory registration fee increase on January 1.

Fees include $49 for a desexed animal, $182 for an animal that is not desexed or $49 for an animal that is not desexed and that is kept by a recognised breeder for breeding purposes.

There are also increases to penalties in relation to dog attacks.

An on-the-spot fine of $550 now applies when a dog is found to have attacked. There is a maximum penalty of $22,000 or two years in prison for its owner. If the dog had previously been declared dangerous, an on-the-spot fine of $1320 applies and there is a maximum penalty of $55,000 or four years in prison.