1. Home
  2. Legislation
  3. Companion Animal Legislation
  4. Is microchipping mandatory for cats and dogs?

Is microchipping mandatory for cats and dogs?

A microchip is a small rice-grain sized chip that is placed just below the skin in the back of the neck of dogs and cats. This chip is linked to a database that contains the owner’s and pet’s details, and can be scanned by veterinarians and authorised scanners to reunite lost pets and their owners.


Yes. Section 84 of the Domestic Animals Act 2000 and Regulation 7 of the Domestic Animals Regulation 2001 requires microchipping of cats and dogs prior to sale/transfer and by 12 weeks of age.


Yes. Section 8 of the Companion Animals Act 1998 requires microchipping of cats and dogs prior to sale/transfer and by 12 weeks of age.

From 1 July 2019, it is mandatory for anyone selling or giving away a dog or cat to use an identification number in their advertisement – this number can either be the microchip number or breeder identification number or a rehoming organisation number. This is enforced under Section 23 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979. This allows buyers to search the NSW Pet Registry to see the pet’s details and make informed purchasing decisions.


No. However, it is compulsory if you are within the City of Darwin as part of the Council’s Animal Management By-Laws. Other local governments may introduce requirements to microchip cats and dogs, so please check with your local authority.


Yes. Section 14 of the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008 requires microchipping of cats and dogs prior to reaching 12 weeks of age unless there is a reasonable excuse.


Yes. From 1st July 2018, part 4A of the Dog and Cat Management (Miscellaneous) Amendment Act 2016 (SA) requires microchipping of cats and dogs prior to sale/transfer and prior to reaching 12 weeks of age.


Yes. Section 15A of the Dog Control Act 2000 requires microchipping of dogs by 6 months of age.

Cats over the age of four months must be microchipped​. If a kitten is sold or given away, they must be microchipped, even if they are under four months of age. These requirements do not apply if a veterinary surgeon has issued a certificate stating that the implantation of a microchip in the cat may adversely affect the health and welfare of the cat).​


Yes. Section 10C of the Domestic Animals Act 1994 requires cats and dogs to be microchipped as a condition of registration (which is compulsory once the animal is three months of age). However, the requirement to microchip prior to sale/transfer under section 12A only applies to domestic animal businesses.

Section 12A (2) of the Domestic Animals Act 1994 requires an animal’s microchip number to be displayed in any advertisement for the animal, but not at the point of sale. If the seller is a ‘domestic animal business’ the breeder must display the microchip number or the breeder registration number, and the name of the issuing Council.

From 1 July 2019, any person or business who is advertising to sell or give away a dog or cat will need to be enrolled on the Pet Exchange Register. This enables buyers to make informed decisions when purchasing a new pet. It is an offence to advertise a dog or cat for sale or to give away without including the microchip number and a source number generated by the Pet Exchange Register under Part 5C of the Domestic Animals Act 1994.


Yes, the Dog Act 1976 and the Cat Act 2011 require that dogs and cats are microchipped. Dogs must be microchipped by three months of age. Cats must be microchipped by six months of age. Both dogs and cats must be microchipped when they are transferred to a new owner (even if the dog is under three months of age or a cat is under six months of age).

The information presented here is not intended to be relied on for legal advice and you should seek advice from the relevant authority and/or a lawyer about your individual circumstances.

Also Read

Updated on January 24, 2024
  • Home
  • Legislation
  • Companion Animal Legislation

Was this article helpful?