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RSPCA Policy A06 Companion animal management

Article ID: 158
Last updated: 09 Dec, 2009
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 6.1 RSPCA Australia believes that companion animal management is the joint responsibility of state/territory and local government and should include provisions for the desexing, identification and registration of both cats and dogs.
 6.2 Desexing
 6.2.1 RSPCA Australia advocates the compulsory desexing of all domestic dogs and cats which are kept as pets, to prevent unwanted breeding and reduce the numbers of unwanted animals.
 6.2.2 Where no compulsory desexing requirement is in place, RSPCA Australia advocates substantially increased registration fees for entire dogs and cats and discounted fees for desexed dogs and cats.
 6.2.3 RSPCA Australia advocates that all dogs or cats offered for sale or adoption as companion animals (rather than for breeding by registered/licensed breeders), should be desexed prior to transfer of ownership. Other companion animals should be desexed wherever feasible and appropriate for the species.
 6.2.4 RSPCA Australia recommends early age desexing from the age of eight weeks when the surgery is simple and recovery is rapid and straightforward. Early age desexing is an effective way of reducing accidental pregnancy in young animals and ensuring compliance with desexing requirements.
 6.2.5 RSPCA Australia supports humane ear tattooing (while under anaesthesia) of animals to signify their desexed status and avoid accidental repetitive surgery. A standard tattoo symbol indicating desexed status should be applied to the left ear of all cats and dogs at the time of surgery.
 6.3 Identification
 6.3.1 RSPCA Australia advocates that all dogs or cats should be permanently identified by electronic means (microchip). Electronic identification is recommended for all other companion animals wherever it is feasible and appropriate for the species.
6.3.2 RSPCA Australia advocates the regulation and adoption of a national protocol for the electronic identification of companion animals which sets minimum standards for:
  • approved microchip types
  • scanner reading capacity (scanners must be able to read all approved microchip types)
  • requirements for competency and accreditation for implanters
  • registry operation which includes the ability for records to be accessible 24 hours/day with the record to be retained for the lifetime of the animal
  • government oversight or licensing requirements for registries.
 6.4 Impounding of stray animals
6.4.1  RSPCA Australia believes that impounded stray animals must be treated with the same consideration for their welfare as owned animals. Impounded animals must be housed under appropriate conditions which meet their physical and behavioural needs. Immediate veterinary treatment should be provided wherever necessary. 
 6.4.2 RSPCA Australia advocates a compulsory registration and licensing system for impounding facilities. The conditions under which animals are kept must be detailed in a code of practice with compliance with the code of practice made a condition of licensing.

(adopted 01/08/08)

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Also read
document Why should I have my pet desexed?
document Is it mandatory to register domestic dogs and cats?

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RSPCA Policy A05 Breeding of companion animals     RSPCA Policy A07 Dog management