Restricted dog breed fee part of new NSW Government companion animals legislation

FEE REQUIRED: Owners of dangerous dogs, such as pit bulls, will now have to pay an annual $195 permit fee. Photo: JUSTIN MCMANUS
FEE REQUIRED: Owners of dangerous dogs, such as pit bulls, will now have to pay an annual $195 permit fee. Photo: JUSTIN MCMANUS

OWNERS of ‘problem dogs’ will now be forced to pay a $195 annual permit fee under new plans by the NSW Government to protect the public from dangerous dogs.

Recent changes to legislation makes it easier for council rangers and enforcement agencies to take action against problem pets and irresponsible pet owners.

The introduction of the $195 annual permit for dogs that are of a restricted breed or declared to be dangerous is designed to be “a further disincentive to owning problem dogs and encourage dog owners to manage their behaviour”, an Office of Local Government spokesperson said.

In NSW, a restricted dog is one of the following:

  • American pitbull terrier or Pitbull terrier
  • Japanese tosa
  • Dogo Argentino (Argentinean fighting dog)
  • Fila Brasiliero (Brazilian fighting dog)

It also includes any other dog of a breed, kind or description, whose importation into Australia is prohibited by, or under, the Customs Act 1901 of the Commonwealth; and any dog declared by an authorised officer of a council, under division 6 of the Companion Animals Act 1998, to be a restricted dog.

Changes to the Companion Animals and Other Legislation Amendment Act allows authorities to define what a ‘serious injury’ is for the purposes of declaring a dog as menacing and imposing control requirements on them. This will also help council officers manage problem dogs and reduce attacks.

The Companion Animals and Other Legislation Amendment Act became law on June 6, 2018. The Act will enable the Government to implement its response to the Joint Select Committee on Companion Animal Breeding Practices in NSW. 

That committee held three public hearings receiving evidence from 42 witnesses as well as 344 written submissions, a petition containing 3000 signatories and more than 2200 emails and letters.

The Act also responds to community feedback received in late 2017 through the review of the Companion Animals Regulation 2008.

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