Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Cat Bill 2011 Summarised

This is a summary of the Cat Bill 2011 for Western Australia:
By Louise

What is it? This is the grain-of-rice sized chip that contains a unique code, which is held at the Australasian Animal Registry (AAR), where they can access pet and owner information to reunite lost cats to owners. It is placed between the shoulder blades, it can be done whilst conscious or at the same time as sterilisation under a general anaesthetic.

Cats aged 6 months and older will be required to have a microchip. If the cat does not, then the penalty is a fine of $5,000. If a veterinarian believes a microchip could adversely affect the health and welfare, then a certificate can be provided to exempt the cat from a microchip.

Where the word owner is used. The owner for legal purposes is someone living with the cat that is 18 years or over. Or it may be that of the guardian that takes care of the cat where it is being kept.

Local Council Registration Tag
What is it? This is a tag worn on the collar with a unique code held by your local council, you will need to visit a local vet or your council office in order to pay for and obtain one of these. The information obtained by your local council is also available to the public during daytime hours, read more in Public Records in Councils.

Cats aged 6 months and older will be required to be registered. With a time limit of 14 days to apply for registration if cat is purchased at 6 months and older. If the cat does not have one or is not wearing the tag, the penalty is a fine of $5,000. Any person/s that interferes with a microchip or registration tag in the aim to remove tag or chip may receive a fine of $5,000.

If there is reasonable belief and/or evidence that the cat may have lost its tag, then it may be possible to evade paying a fine of $5,000.

Public Records in Councils
Your cat’s details, your name, address and contact details will be available to the public. Only those cats under the specific councils registration are available on any given council register. This is the same as has been for years in the Dog Act 1976. If you have reasonable argument as to keeping your details private for safety reasons or concerns, then the local government will likely accede to your request. Certain details may be kept private for example the microchip number. 

Sterilisation and Tattoo
What is it? A surgical procedure that permanently makes the cat infertile, the tattoo is a unique shape that represents when a dog or cat has been sterilised and should be placed/found in the Left Ear. A person must not tattoo or cause a tattoo of the cat, if it is not sterilised. The penalty is a fine of $5,000.
A certificate of sterilisation should be provided once the cat has been sterilised.

If a veterinarian believes a sterilisation could aversely affect the health and welfare of the cat, then a veterinarian to exempt the cat from sterilisation can provide a certificate. Other reasons for exemption: Breeding (see below)

Owner Transfers
The ownership of a cat should be transferred when the cat has been sterilised (unless it has been prescribed as exempt and there is a certificate), the cat is used for the purpose of breeding, or a voucher is given so the owner can have the cat sterilised at a later time at no veterinary cost.
If this is not obliged to, then the penalty is a fine of $5,000.

A person cannot breed cats unless the person is an approved breeder.
Penalty is a fine of $5,000.
If the person is not approved, then action may be taken to ensure all cats owned by the person are sterilised.
To become an approved breeder, you will need to apply to your local government, however they may refuse or refuse to renew, if the applicant is under 18 years of age, is not providing appropriate/ethical facilities for the purpose of breeding, or had made a convicted offence under 3 years time, of the Cat Bill 2011 or the Dog Act 1976.

Cats are not to be offered as prizes in a raffle or similar.
Penalty of $5,000.
In some local councils they can choose to strictly prohibit cats from certain areas and require a portion of premises to be enclosed as to confine the cat/s.

General powers of an Authorised person
Set traps for cats in or on any public place or any premises lawfully entered; 
Examine, including by scanning, a cat to determine if the cat is the subject of an offence against this Act; Cat Bill 2011 
A person must not delay, threaten, obstruct or otherwise hinder an authorised person in the performance of a function by that person under this Act. 
Penalty of $5,000.

Seizing of Cats
An authorised person may seize a cat, where there are grounds to believe there has been an offence against the act. They may enter a private property with permission, consent, request of owner or occupier or with a warrant in order to seize a cat.

When a cat has been seized:
  • All attempts are to be made to reunite the cat with it's owner.
  • If the cat behaves aggressively and is a potential health or safety risk, microchip scanning is exempt, and despite usual holding periods, the cat may be destroyed in a humane manner.
  • The owner is liable to pay any fees that have incurred in relation to the cat. 
  • A letter is sent to the owner, stating that after 7 working days, the cat may be rehomed/destroyed, and sterilised/micro-chipped unless proven within 7 days that the cat is exempt from either.
  • If no owner is found within 3 working days from removal and impounding OR after 7 working days the known owner does not claim the cat, then the cat holder can transfer the ownership of the cat, or destroy it in a humane manner.

This is not an official copy of the Cat Bill 2011 and therefore for legal purposes cannot be counted as the actual Act. If you are still unsatisfied with the information provided, visit: where they have a link to the proposed cat bill.

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