The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) announced on Monday that dog licensing fees will be raised to encourage owners to sterilise their dogs.
Currently, owners of unsterilised dogs pay an annual licensing fee of $70. But under the fee revision that will kick in on Feb 1, this will go up to $90. To facilitate transactions, owners who opt to pay the fee via Giro will pay only $81, after a 10 per cent rebate.
For owners of sterilised pooches, the current fee is $14. This will be revised to $15, or $13.50 via Giro payment, when the revision kicks in. Licence fees for fourth or subsequent dogs, whether sterilised or not, will go up from the current $175 to $180. For those paying via Giro, the fee will be $162.
The AVA said in a statement that this measure will help promote responsible pet ownership by preventing unwanted breeding, which could result in pet abandonment and public safety issues. Pointing to how dogs are "highly significant vectors" in the spread of rabies, a fatal viral disease, a AVA spokesman said of the dog licensing scheme: "It facilitates contact tracing in the event of a rabies outbreak. It also establishes accountability for the care and management of dogs by pet owners."