South Australians have less than a month to microchip their dogs and cats before it becomes mandatory.
From 1 July 2018, all dogs and cats in South Australia must be microchipped before three months of age or 28 days after purchase. This new law will make it easier to reunite lost dogs and cats with their owners, promote responsible pet ownership and reduce euthanasia rates.
University of Adelaide Veterinary Science Lecturer, Dr Susan Hazel said microchipping is a safe and permanent way to identify your pet.
“The microchipping procedure is quick, the chip is the size of a grain of rice and the procedure is similar to a vaccination,” Dr Hazel said.
Dog and Cat Management Board Secretary, Andrew Lamb said there are a number of discounted microchipping services available in the lead up to the new laws.
“Many vets, councils and rescue groups are offering discounted microchipping rates, with an average cost of around $25 to $40 per microchip. Also ChipBlitz, a volunteer mobile microchipping service is holding events around the state for only $10 per chip,” Mr Lamb said.
Animal Welfare League of South Australia (AWL) Veterinary Services Manager, Dr Sahra McFetridge said the AWL regularly sees older pets coming in from councils.
“Older dogs and cats can develop age related conditions including loss of eye sight, hearing loss and dementia, and these conditions can make it more difficult for them to find their way home if they get out,” Dr McFetridge said.
“They are also highly likely to be stressed away from their safe environment, so speed of return is critical to their welfare.”
Mandatory microchipping is one of four major South Australian pet reforms starting 1 July 2018. The reforms include mandatory desexing, new rules for dog and cat breeders and sellers and the introduction of a statewide database, Dogs and Cats Online.