Section 8 Companion Animals Act 1998 | Failing to Identify Companion Animal


If you’re looking to own or sell a pet, it’s important for you to ensure that you comply with the requirements of the Companion Animals Act 1998.

Section 8 of that Act says that a companion animal (that is, a cat or dog, including working dogs or other dogs not considered to be strictly ‘companion’ animals) must be appropriately ‘identified’ before the animal is 12 weeks old.

It also says that you cannot sell or give away a companion animal until it has been ‘identified’ appropriately, even if it is over 12 weeks of age.

These laws are designed to keep your pet safe and to ensure that they can be easily identified and returned to you if they are lost or injured.

‘Identification’ of an animal generally requires you to ensure that your pet is microchipped with your correct contact details.

You must also comply with s 9 of the Act, which says that you must register your details with the NSW Companion Animals Register.

Generally, applications to register your pet’s details on the NSW Companion Animals Register can be made through your local council. Microchipping can be performed by a qualified vet or by animal welfare groups such as the RSPCA or Animal Welfare League.

If you don’t comply with the identification requirements, you could face a heavy fine of $880, or $550 if the animal is a dangerous, menacing or restricted dog.

If you’ve been charged with an offence under s 8 of the Companion Animals Act, you can benefit from our expert advice and outstanding representation.

As Australia’s leading companion animal lawyers, we have years of experience representing clients in all types of animal law matters. Our expert knowledge of animal law allows us to obtain the best results for our clients in these cases, and we frequently assist people in avoiding heavy fines or other penalties.

Section 8 of the Companion Animals Act 1998 is Failing to Identify Companion Animal and is extracted below.

For expert advice and outstanding representation from Australia’s leading Companion Animals Act lawyers, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers® today on (02) 9261 8881 and let our experienced defence lawyers help you.

The Legislation

8 Identification required from 12 weeks of age and before sale

(1) A companion animal must be identified as required by the regulations from the time the animal is 12 weeks old.

(2) A companion animal must not be sold unless it has been identified as required by the regulations (even if it is less than 12 weeks old when it is sold).

(3) The owner of an animal is guilty of an offence if it is not identified in accordance with subsection (1). Maximum penalty:
(a) 8 penalty units except in the case of a dangerous, menacing or restricted dog, or
(b) 50 penalty units in the case of a dangerous, menacing or restricted dog.

(4) A person who sells an animal in contravention of subsection (2) is guilty of an offence. Maximum penalty:
(a) 8 penalty units except in the case of a dangerous or restricted dog, or
(b) 50 penalty units in the case of a dangerous or restricted dog.

(5) The regulations may change the age from which a companion animal is required to be identified under subsection (1) from 12 weeks to any other age (either generally for all companion animals or for a particular kind or class of companion animal).

The term “sell” extends to the transfer of ownership by any means, including by gift. This section requires an animal to be identified before it is sold no matter what the age of the animal when it is sold.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers®?

Choosing the right legal team to defend your reputation and interests can be a difficult process.

However, it is always important to look at a firm’s experience and results when making this decision.

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers®, we have extensive experience defending and winning some of the most complex criminal matters – so you can rest assured that you are in safe hands.

Our criminal law specialists will take the time in every case to carefully scrutinise all the evidence in order to identify problems with the prosecution case at an early stage in the proceedings.

Where issues are found, our lawyers will write to the prosecution asking to have the charges dropped on this basis – often sparing our clients the considerable time and expense associated with defended hearings.

However, should your matter proceed to court, our senior lawyers will represent you and present a strong defence case to maximise your chances of being found ‘not guilty.’

Our senior lawyers are highly skilled advocates who have been recognised for their expert knowledge of the criminal law, as well as their ability to obtain excellent results in difficult cases.

We can assist you in avoiding the harsh penalties imposed by the law if you simply wish to plead guilty – in these cases, our experienced advocates can prepare and present compelling sentencing submissions which focus on any positive factors of your case.

For the best defence in your case, get the experts on your side today. Call us now on
(02) 9261 8881 and book your FREE first conference
with our criminal law specialists.