←Go back to RSPCA

RSPCA Australia knowledgebase

RSPCA Australia Knowledgebase

Search:     Advanced search

Is desexing mandatory for cats and dogs?

Article ID: 724
Last updated: 29 Mar, 2018
Revision: 4
print  Print
share  Share
Views: 1490

In Australia, animal management legislation is a state or territory responsibility rather than a federal or national one. Unfortunately, not all laws between states are consistent so there may be difference regarding requirements for desexing your dog or cat and the age when this must be done. Additionally, some councils have bylaws making desexing a compulsory part of animal registration.

As cats can become sexually mature at 4 months of age, and dogs by 6 months, the states with mandatory desexing include the age by which this needs to be done, in order to prevent unwanted litters of cats and dogs being born. In all states with mandatory desexing legislation, there are limited exemptions, usually for breeders who hold a breeding permit issued by the relevant government authority. For more information on which states/territories have mandatory desexing of dogs and cats, see the table below.

State

Mandatory Desexing Legislation

ACT

Yes. Section 74 of the Domestic Animals Act 2000 makes it an offence to own an undesexed dog over 6 months old or an undesexed cat over 3 months old without a permit.

NSW

No.

NT

No.

QLD

No.

SA

Yes, from July 1st 2018. Section 42E of the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 makes it an offence to own an undesexed dog or cat over 6 months old, with limited exemptions.

TAS

Yes for cats - Section 14 of the Cat Management Act 2009 requires all cats over 6 months of age to be desexed, with limited exemptions. 

No for dogs - dogs are not required to be desexed.

VIC

No.

WA

Yes for cats - Section 18 of the Cat Act 2011 requires all cats over 6 months of age to be desexed, with limited exemptions. 

No for dogs - dogs are not required to be desexed.

This article was:  


Also read
folder Why should I have my pet desexed?
folder Why does the RSPCA advocate early-age desexing?

Prev     Next
I'm looking for a pet kitten or cat - what should I do?       Is eating cats or dogs legal?