New state laws specify that all dogs and cats born after the 1 July 2018 must be desexed (exemptions may apply) by a registered veterinary surgeon:
- before it is 6 months of age; or
- within 28 days after the owner takes possession of the dog or cat; or
- if the owner of a dog or cat is granted an extension of time, before the day specified in the exemption.
Desexing your dog or cat is a socially responsible thing to do for several reasons including that it:
- Reduces territorial behaviour
- Helps control your pet’s urge to wander
- Reduces anti-social behaviours
- Reduces the likelihood of cancer and other diseases of the reproductive organs
- Increases the likelihood of your pet enjoying a longer and happier life; and
- Eliminates unwanted litters of puppies or kittens.
Desexing can only be carried out by a qualified veterinary surgeon, and is a routine procedure performed under general anaesthetic. Contact your local vet to discuss the procedure and to make an appointment.
Certificate of desexing
If your dog or cat has been desexed, but you do not have a desexing certificate or other acceptable written evidence, you will need to arrange a vet of choice to examine the animal and provide a written statement of their professional opinion in relation to the dog or cat’s neutered status.
Dogs and cats born before the 1 July 2018 do not have to be desexed. Other exemptions for dogs and cats include:
- Vets may grant an exemption based on it posing an undue risk to the health of the dog or cat or adversely affecting the growth, development or wellbeing of the dog or cat
- Dogs defined as a “Working Livestock Dog” as per the definition in the Act are exempt from desexing
- Dogs belonging to Dogs SA members are exempt
- Cats belonging to a FASA or Cat Fancy of SA members are exempt
- Greyhounds currently registered to Greyhound Racing SA are exempt (retired greyhounds are not exempt)
- Board exemption.
For more information on desexing, visit the Dog and Cat Board website