Pet owners will have to register their dogs and cats every year, under recommendations being considered by the NSW government.

The Companion Animals Taskforce released two reports to government on Monday that aim to reduce the 30,000 pets put down in NSW every year and strengthen measures to prevent attacks by dogs.

The taskforce has recommended scrapping lifetime registrations for dogs and cats in favour of annual registrations. Liberal MP and vet Andrew Cornwall, who chaired the taskforce, conceded that push would be ”contested”.

”Of animals that are on the register, we believe anecdotally that some 50 per cent of those details are incorrect,” he said. ”We feel [lifetime registration] was a mistake … but trying to unscramble that omelette may be too difficult.”


Under the proposal, annual fees would be cheaper for owners of desexed animals bought from a pound or shelter.

RSPCA chief executive Steve Coleman said it was possible that the extra cost of yearly registrations would deter some people from registering new puppies or kittens entirely. However, he said he thought most owners would act responsibly.

Other recommendations include the establishment of a breeder licensing system to crack down on so-called puppy farms, and a ban on breeders from selling non-microchipped dogs and cats to pet shops.

The government will also consider new laws to recognise ”potentially dangerous” dogs in addition to regulations on dangerous dogs. The taskforce has also asked Local Government Minister Don Page and Attorney-General Greg Smith to work with the federal government to establish a national dog attack and dangerous dog database.

Animal lovers, breeders and pet sellers will have six weeks to make submissions before Mr Page and Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson give their responses to the reports.