Is cat microchipping mandatory in Australia?

Micro-chipping is governed by the laws of each individual Australian state and therefore there is a variance across the continent. The vast majority of states make it obligatory to microchip your cat.

The UK is catching up with Australia on cat micro-chipping as the current government intends to introduce mandatory micro-chipping in the UK. Australia is generally ahead on issues regarding the improvement of cat caretaking with the protection of wildlife in mind. Mandatory micro-chipping is in place in Australia, in all their states except the Northern Territory where it is not compulsory, unless you live within the city of Darwin as part of the council’s animal management by-laws AND in Tasmania where micro-chipping is encouraged but it is not compulsory under the law as yet.

Micro-chipping of cats in Australia is obligatory in most states
Micro-chipping of cats in Australia is obligatory in most states. Photo: Pixabay.
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In all the regulations covering the various states of Australia it is usual for the obligation to microchip to relate to kittens being sold or transfered by 12 weeks of age.

Northern Territory-as mentioned above.

In the Australian Capital Territory section 84 of the Domestic Animals Act 2000 and Regulation Seven of the Domestic Animals Regulation 2001 applies making it obligatory to microchip.

In New South Wales section 8 of the Companion Animals Act 1998 applies. The information that should be stored on the microchip is regulated by Regulation 8 of the Companion Animals Regulation 2008.

In Queensland, section 14 of the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008 applies. The information that should be stored on the microchip is governed by schedule 2 of the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008 and Schedule 4 of the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Regulation 2009.

In South Australia the relevant legislation is part 4A of the Dog and Cat Management (Miscellaneous) Amendment Act 2016 (SA). The South Australia government website say that the law came into play on 1 July 2018 which made it obligatory to microchip cats and dogs in that state who are more than 12 weeks old. If they are not cat owners can be fined by councils ($2,500). The microchip details need to be logged on South Australia’s information database.

In Tasmania it is obligatory for dogs to be micro-chipped but that obligation does not yet extend to cats although it is encouraged for cats over six months of age. They expect introduce mandatory micro-chipping by the end of 2021. However, this only, apparently, applies to cats being “reclaimed” from a “cat management facility”. I ould keep your eye on that if you live in Tasmania because it is not entirely clear what is going to happen.

In Victoria it is obligatory to microchip your cat under section 10C of the Domestic Animals Act 1994. This applies to dogs as well and micro-chipping is a condition of registration. There is a proviso which is that “the requirement to microchip prior to sale/transfer under section 12A only applies to domestic animal businesses”. The Domestic Animals Regulations 2005 (Regulation 12) specifies the information that need to be recorded on the microchip.

In Western Australia it’s obligatory to microchip cats under sections 14 and 23 of the Cat Act 2011. Cats need to be micro-chipped before they are transferred or sold to another owner. They need to be micro-chipped by the time they are six months old.

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