Frequently Asked Questions

Does microchipping hurt my dog?

Microchips are tiny (about the size of a small grain of rice) inserted under the skin between the shoulders of a dog. The process is similar to receiving immunisation injections and generally is less distressing for the animal than an vaccination. If you do have concerns about your dog being microchipped then the use of a local anaesthetic can be discussed with your vet.

Microchips are inert and do not put out any signal of their own. Council’s Rangers and other relevant people such as the local vets and the Animal Welfare League are able to read the microchip by passing a simple scanner over the animal. Permanent identification by microchip has been a standard procedure employed and promoted by the R.S.P.C.A., the Animal Welfare League and the Royal N.S.W. Canine Council for sometime.

Why do I have to register by dog as well as having it microchipped?

Although microchipping provides an excellent form of identification it is only the first step in registering your dog. Just as when dogs were only required to wear dog tags, registration means a lot more than just identification.

When your dog is registered under the Companion Animals Act it is provided with all the regulation and protection the N.S.W. Government and Council can provide. Council is also responsible for ensuring that companion animals and their owners co-exist with other members of the community who choose not to own dogs. The Companion Animals Act provides Council with a range of powers and responsibilities to achieve this. By registering your dog you can help to make sure that both your pet and the community have the benefit of information, assistance and regulation to ensure that the rights and needs of yourself and your animal are protected.

While it is Counci's responsibility to collect fees for registration, the fees are set by the N.S.W. Government.

Does my farm/working dog have to be registered?

A working dog is a dog used primarily for the purpose of droving, tending, working or protecting stock, and includes a dog being trained as a working dog.

Hunting dogs and guard dogs do not have any special status as working dogs under the Companion Animals Act. Just because an animal is kept for purposes other than that of a pet, does not necessarily mean it is a ‘working dog’.

Under the Companion Animals Act, dogs that meet the definition of a ‘working dog’ are exempt from microchipping and registering when:-

  • the working dog resides on land defined and rated as farmland under the Local Government Act 1993, or
  • the working dog is kept in the Western Division of NSW, being not within a local government area.

All other working dogs MUST be microchipped and registered. However, a nil dollar (free) registration fee applies.

It should be noted that all working dogs are valuable animals and owners are encouraged to have their dogs microchipped and registered so in the event of being lost, they can be re-united with their owners.

Who will have access to the registration information?

All the information held in the Companion Animals Register is protected by privacy legislation and administered by the State Government. There are also penalties under the Companion Animals Act for unauthorised access or improper use of personal information held on the Companion Animals Register.

Councils no longer hold information about your dog but instead access the state Register when they have need to return an animal to it’s owner. Police and Council Officers also have access to the Register for enforcement purposes such as when they investigate a dog attack.

If a member of the public finds your dog, he or she will not be able to gain direct access to information on the Register. It is a legal requirement that anyone who catches a stray or lost animal must return the animal to its owner (if they can be identified) or to Council. Council’s Ranger staff will be able to scan the microchip so that you can be contacted and your animal safely returned.

Dogs are required to wear a collar and tag which gives information to allow you to be contacted directly and should for instance contain the dogs name and your phone number as a minimum.

What happens if I change address?

If you have a dog that is registered you have a responsibility to ensure that the information on the N.S.W. Companion Animal Register is kept up to date. Within fourteen days of moving or changing your contact details you should notify your old Council of the change. You also have a responsibility to notify the Register by contacting your new local council if your dog dies or goes missing for more than 3 days.

There is of course no charge for notifying a change to the Companion Animals Register.

What are my responsibilities as a dog owner?

Being the owner of a dog is a big responsibility. When you buy or are given a dog there are a lot of things you need to do to look after it properly.

You should ensure that it is well nourished, vaccinated, groomed, healthy and properly exercised and socialised.

A well cared for dog can provide great enjoyment, companionship and pleasure.

It is important to remember however, that as a dog owner you have responsibilities towards the other members of the community. The Companion Animals Act sets out some of these requirements and gives Council Rangers the power to assist and where necessary enforce the law to ensure that owners meet their responsibilities.

You are responsible for ensuring that your dog does not harm or threaten any other person or animal. This means that you must be able to control your dog on your property and when you are in public with your dog you must always keep it on a leash except in specially designated off leash areas.

The owners of restricted breeds of dogs including American pit bull terriers have a range of more stringent responsibilities in N.S.W. as do the owners of dogs that have been declared dangerous for attacking other animals or people.

As an owner of a dog you must also make sure that you animal is not causing a nuisance whether by consistently barking, straying or interfering with other peoples property.

Dog owners are of course always required to promptly dispose of any faeces which their dog may leave anywhere other than on their own property.

Finally you must ensure that your dog is permanently identified by a microchip and properly registered. Dogs must wear a collar with a tag which shows the name of the dog and the address or telephone number as a minimum of the owner of the dog. The responsibilities of owning a dog are well balanced by the rewards of the companionship that a dog can bring. The Companion Animals Act in N.S.W. aims to assist dogs and their owners to co-exist with other members of the community.

By understanding these responsibilities you can help maximise the benefits of companion animal ownership for your dog, your neighbours and your community.

What should I do when exercising my dog?

When your dog is out in public it must be under the effective control of a competent person at all times. This means that it must be on a leash and under the control of someone who is capable of restraining the dog.

Does my dog have to be desexed?

The desexing of dogs is not compulsory in N.S.W. Should Council’s Pound have an animal surrendered to it or should Council’s Rangers find stray dogs or unowned dogs, then it is a requirement of Brewarrina Shire Council that the dog not be released  from the pound unless there is an understanding that dog is to be desexed by the new owner. Many studies have shown that in fact the overwhelming majority of owned dogs are already desexed.

The benefits of desexing stray dogs include reducing the likelihood of straying dogs in the future and unwanted and unowned animals being born. Although the Companion Animals Act does not introduce compulsory desexing the legislation establishes a system of registration that provides a very strong incentive for companion animals to be desexed.

The fee for lifetime registration of a desexed animal is only $40 compared to $150 for an entire animal. The emphasis being placed on the importance of desexing dogs in the State is being lead by the State Government.

If you are unable to have your dog desexed because of financial concerns it is suggested that you contact Animal Welfare League who may be able to assist you. Council will not be responsible for the cost involved in desexing a dog.

What happens if I don’t identify or register my dog?

The failure to microchip or register your dog as required by the Act attracts large penalties if the dog has been declared dangerous or is a restricted breed even larger penalties apply.

Will I be fined if my dog barks?

The problems caused by barking dogs are a common neighbourhood complaint reported to Council. In terms of dogs it is one of Council’s most common complaints.

A great deal of disruption and unhappiness can be caused by a dog that persistently barks. Dogs bark out of boredom or frustration when confined or when they are not sufficiently exercised and stimulated. Problem barking can be prevented by training and ensuring that your dog is well nourished, exercised and is not bored. Under the Companion Animals Act persistent barking is considered as similar to straying or other anti-social behaviour. Where Council’s Rangers identify a serious or ongoing problem with barking, a Nuisance Dog Order can be issued. This Order requires the owner to stop the dog from barking persistently. If the problem continues the owner may then be liable for on the spot penalties.

These measures are only applied by Council’s Rangers as a last resort. In most instances the Rangers have found that most problems with barking dogs can be resolved without legal action.

What happens if my dog goes on the loose?

Dog owners are required to ensure that their dog whilst in a public place is under the effective control of a responsible person. This means that it must be on a leash and under the control of someone who is capable and restraining the dog. On the spot penalties apply for failing to control your dog in public.

If your dog is habitually at large, repeatedly defecates on private property or chases people or vehicles then it can be declared a nuisance dogs. Council’s Rangers may issue a Nuisance Dog Order that requires the owner to stop the dog from continuing the nuisance behaviour. If the owner fails to stop the dog causing a nuisance then on the spot penalties may apply.

What can Council’s Rangers do to enforce the legislation?

Council is the authority responsible for implementing the Companion Animals legislation in the Brewarrina Shire. Under this legislation Council’s Rangers have a range of responsibilities including planning, service provision, community education and enforcement.

Council’s Rangers have a range of powers to deal with the breaches of the Companion Animals Act as they occur. They can require the names and addresses of the people whom they reasonably suspect may have breached the Act. Council’s Rangers are empowered to seize an animal that is stray or prevent injury to a person or another animal or damage to property.

Council’s Rangers have a range of powers to deal with ongoing problems. These include the issue of Nuisance Orders and the issue of Dangerous Dog Declarations. In this way Council can declare a dog dangerous if it has without provocation attacked or killed a person or animal or repeatedly threatened to do so. The owners of dogs that have been declared dangerous must comply with strict conditions for the control and restraint of the animal. They must notify Council of where a dangerous dog is to be kept.

Council’s Rangers are also empowered to stop an animal that is attacking or harassing animals in a protection area or within National Parks. Under very limited circumstances Council’s Rangers are also able to enter private property to remove a dog that has attacked a person or a animal

For more Information click on website below

Contact Details

Bre Shire Council
Phone: 02 6830 5100
Fax: 02 6839 2100