The state of Queensland, Australia, is mandating microchips for cats and dogs in an effort to enhance community safety and encourage responsible pet ownership. The Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Bill of 2008 says that owners must implant pet cats and dogs with microchips if the animal is younger than 12 weeks when the legislation commences, if ownership changes after the legislation commences, or if a particular dog is of a restricted breed or declared dangerous or menacing. That last category is a new addition to the law as well. It covers dogs who have exhibited aggressive behavior but haven’t bitten anyone yet.
A government representative told the Queensland Parliament that the laws will help reduce the number of animals euthanized in the state. “Our plan will help ensure that all owners take responsibility for cats and dogs in their care,” said local government minister Warren Pitt.
The law also mandates that spayed or neutered cats and dogs must be tattooed to show they’ve been desexed. However, spaying and neutering isn’t required for pets other than dangerous dogs or restricted dog breeds. A Queensland representative says independent expert Dr. Linda Marston reported that “there is insufficient data to prove or disprove that mandatory desexing reduces the number of unwanted cats and dogs.” A two-year pilot study will give the government information about spaying and neutering and its impact on the pet population for future decisions.