Laws for pet owners in Queensland
Being a pet owner also brings responsibilities. You need to:
- provide your pet with appropriate food, shelter and care
- register your dog in all council areas and register your cat in some council areas
- have your dog or cat microchipped and ensure its details are up to date so it can be identified and returned to you if lost
- consider having your pet desexed to avoid unwanted litters
- meet new laws regarding standards for safeguarding the welfare of breeding dogs and their puppies
- request a permit from your local council if you want to own:
- a regulated dog (i.e. dangerous, menacing or restricted breed)
- more animals than are allowed in your council area.
In Queensland, all dogs must be registered with the local council:
- before they are 12 weeks old
- within 14 days after moving to a new local council area.
When lodging your completed registration form, you must include the registration fee and state:
- if your dog is a regulated dog - including declared dangerous, declared menacing and restricted dogs
- if your dog has been
- desexed - include a signed certificate from your vet
- micro-chipped - include the permanent identification device (PID) number.
If you intend to use a cat or dog for breeding you may need to tell your local council when you register the animal.
Contact your local council to check if you have to register a working dog. Some types of working dogs are exempt from registration.
To find out whether cats must be registered in your area check with your local council.
For more information on animal registration, contact your local council.
All dogs and cats born after 10 April 2009 must be microchipped before they are sold or given away. All regulated dogs must be microchipped regardless of when they were born.
Microchips may be implanted only by a vet or other authorised implanter. When your animal is implanted with a microchip, the implanter must provide the microchip's unique number, the animal's information and your contact details to a licensed registry service. It is your responsibility to make sure these records are kept up to date.
When the microchip is read or scanned (harmless to animals) it shows the microchip number which is linked to information about the animal, including its owner and the owner's contact details. This information is important if your animal is lost or impounded.
For more information on microchipping, contact your:
Once a microchip has been implanted it can be removed only by a veterinary surgeon and only if it's in the animal's best interests.
We recommend that you have cats and dogs desexed if they are not intended to be kept for breeding. This prevents an unwanted litter and helps to reduce the number of animals that have to be euthanised. Desexing also helps to prevent male pets from straying during mating seasons. Most council areas offer incentives to desex cats and dogs.
When your cat or dog is desexed, the vet will insert a small tattoo in its ear to identify it as having been desexed.
In Brisbane, you must apply for a:
- domestic dog permit if you keep more than 2 dogs-maximum of 4
- cattery permit if you keep more than 3 cats-maximum of 10.
A breeder or show permit is needed if you want to:
- keep more than 2 dogs for breeding, racing, sale or showing
- keep cats for breeding or showing.
Permits may be required for other animals, including race horses. No permits are required to keep chickens and poultry, but there are conditions and limits on their number.
If you live outside the Brisbane City Council area, contact your local council for more information on animal permits.
If you decide to keep a pet, you have a duty of care to provide for its needs. Before getting an animal, find out if it has any special needs.
You should always make sure you have the time, money, room and capability to care for the type of animal you want before you get it.
If your dog becomes pregnant and has a litter you must meet Queensland's animal welfare standards for breeding dogs and their progeny. Within 28 days of the litter being born you must register as a dog breeder.