Introduction of annual permits for non-desexed cats and dangerous/restricted dogs

From 1 July 2020 the NSW Government will introduce annual permits for owners of non-desexed cats, restricted dog breeds, and dogs declared to be dangerous.
This means that owners of cats not desexed by four months of age will be required to pay an $80 annual permit in addition to their one-off lifetime pet registration fee.
Owners of dogs of a restricted breed or declared to be dangerous will be required to pay a $195 annual permit in addition to their one-off lifetime pet registration fee. This applies to dogs that are already registered.
Pet owners will be able to pay for annual permits using the online NSW Pet Registry, or through their local council. Annual permits are not available from Service NSW.

Anyone registering a cat on the NSW Pet Registry will be informed that they must pay for an $80 annual permit if their animal is not desexed by four months of age.

Exemptions will be in place for cats that are registered by 1 July 2020, cats kept for breeding purposes by members of recognised breeding bodies, and cats which cannot be desexed for medical reasons.


Why are annual permits being introduced?
Annual permits will create a stronger incentive to desex cats, which in turn will improve their health and wellbeing, and reduce behaviours such as roaming and aggression.
Improving desexing rates and preventing unwanted litters will also ease the burden on pounds and shelters, reduce euthanasia rates, and help to address concerns about feral and stray cats and their effect on wildlife.
Placing further control measures on dangerous and restricted dogs will serve as a further disincentive to owning high-risk dogs and encourage owners to better manage the behaviour of their animal.
Annual permits were to be implemented from 1 July 2019, however, the Government announced a 12-month grace period to give affected pet owners more time to prepare for their introduction.

Annual permit fees will go directly to the Companion Animals Fund which pays for companion animal management by local councils including pounds/shelters, ranger services, dog recreation areas, and education and awareness programs.

The fund is also used to operate the NSW Pet Registry and carry out responsible pet ownership initiatives.

How this affects veterinary practices

The NSW Government sincerely thanks you for your efforts during this pandemic, and for your contribution to this new initiative.
The Government recognises that the introduction of annual permits may result in an increase in:

  • demand on vets to desex cats, and
  • requests that vets update the date of desexing on records via the Pet Registry and/or provide evidence of a cat’s desexed status that includes the date of desexing.

This demand may be amplified by public health restrictions in place during the COVID-19 pandemic that have resulted in some vets temporarily suspending certain procedures.

New functionality on the Pet Registry

New functionality on the Pet Registry will enable vets to update the desexed status of any animal after it has been registered, in addition to their current ability to update the desexed status of an unregistered animal.
For example, this would apply to an animal that was not desexed until after it was 4 months old and be required so that the owner does not need to pay for a second year’s permit.
The other key change from 1 July 2020 is that the date the sterilisation procedure took place must be entered when updating the animal’s record. This is particularly important for cats in order to determine whether an annual permit is required.

How you can help

We would appreciate your support in actively promoting the introduction of annual permits and the benefits to animal welfare, the community, and the environment.

A Dropbox with downloadable promotional materials can be accessed here. This includes:

  • Videos
  • 3 x flyers (print and digital versions)
  • 3 x posters (print and digital versions)
  • 3 x email signature banners
  • Social media toolkit
  • Website banner, and
  • Text for websites.


Companion Animals Register and NSW Pet Registry password and email accounts

During testing of the new functionality available to vets, the Office of Local Government has identified that a significant number of vet users have failed to specify an email address on their account profile or change their password from the default provided at the time of registration. This presents a data security risk and an active email address is necessary for the password recovery function to be effective.

OLG is encouraging vets and their staff to make these simple changes to their profile. On the Companion Animals Register, users should update their password, password recovery security questions and provide an email address to ensure they can reset their password in the future.


Where to go for further information

The Office of Local Government will provide vets with further advice to support them during the roll out of annual permits.

Frequently Asked Questions about the annual permits can be viewed here.

If you require any further information or assistance, please contact the NSW Pet Registry at and 1300 134 460.


This news article was published on 05 June 2020.