State government levy on dog and cat registration
Under the Domestic Animals Act 1994, local councils are required to pay the Treasurer $2 for every cat registration fee, $3.50 for every dog registration fee and $10 for every domestic animal business registration fee that they collect.
These payments are separate and are only a small proportion of the pet registration fees charged by local councils to cover their animal management service costs. Councils will generally list the State Government levy as a separate item to their pet registration fees on renewal forms.
This levy has been payable since 1996, and has only been increased twice since then, most recently by $1 for each cat and dog registration.
The money that councils collect on behalf of the State Government is put into a "Domestic Animal Welfare Fund". This fund was initiated following the introduction of the Domestic Animals Act 1994, when it was recognised that ongoing education would also be needed, to promote awareness of legislative requirements, minimise dog attacks and reduce the high number of unidentified and abandoned pets having to be euthanased in pounds and shelters.
The money from the Domestic Animal Fund primarily covers responsible pet ownership education programs for school children and the general community with a lesser amount used to cover certain operating and administrative costs for the Bureau of Animal Welfare (within the Department of Primary Industries). It also funds a range of research projects that are undertaken to better guide Government policy, legislation and education strategies.
The Bureau of Animal Welfare is responsible for overseeing domestic animal management and welfare legislation, Codes of Practice regulating the operation of domestic animal businesses (such as pet shops, pounds, breeding, boarding and training establishments), and providing legislative advice to councils. It also plays a key role in conducting research into animal welfare and management issues in Victoria.
For more information about the Bureau of Animal Welfare or the pet registration levy, visit Animal welfare or call our Customer Service Centre on 136 186.
Call your local council if you have questions about your rights and responsibilities as a pet owner, or if you have lost your pet. Your council will also deal with concerns about wandering or nuisance animals. Advice is also available from animal welfare shelters, vets and pet clubs.