STAWELL - Cat and dog owners registering their pet in the Northern Grampians Shire for the first time have until April 10 to receive a registration discount for microchipping their animal.
Acting Local Laws Co-ordinator, Kristy Neilson said recent changes to the Domestic Animals Act 1994 will see a new fee schedule for pet registration come into force across Victoria on April 11 this year.
Mrs Neilson said as part of these changes, pet owners would no longer receive a discount on their registration for having their animal microchipped.
“Pet registration is a legal requirement and cat and dog owners must register their animals with their local council from three months of age and renew their registration by April 10 each year,” she said.
“Currently, pet owners are eligible for a discount on their registration fees for a variety of reasons, including having their pet microchipped.
“However, from April 11, 2013, new eligibility criteria will apply and there will no longer be a discount for microchipping.”
From April 11, pet owners will only receive a discount if their animal has been desexed, is over 10 years of age, belongs to a domestic animal business or applicable organisation, or if their pet is a working dog, or a dog that has completed professional training.
Animals not meeting any of these criteria will attract the full registration fee. The change will only affect new pet registrations.
The owners of microchipped animals who have registered their pet before April 11, 2013 will continue to receive a discount on their registration fees for the life of the animal.
Mrs Neilson said since the introduction of mandatory cat and dog microchipping five years ago, councils across the state had reported a reduction in desexing, due to the fact that pet owners were already receiving a registration discount for microchipping.
She said one of the aims of the new fee schedule was to encourage pet owners to desex or train their animal in order to be eligible for the discount.
“Apart from being a legal requirement, there are many additional reasons to register your pet,” Mrs Neilson said.