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Love Rescue Collaborate started this petition to Wendy Tuckerman (NSW Minister for Local Government)

Support a fairer go for cat owners who do the right thing and get their older cats desexed. 

We need more cats desexed and fewer kittens born each year.

Currently the NSW Government imposes an annual fee on cats over 4 months old who are not desexed. This fee applies even if you adopt an older undesexed cat and get the cat desexed immediately. This is unfair.

It penalises people who do the right thing and get their cat desexed straight away. It also penalises cat rescuers who try to desex as many older stray cats as possible.


From 1 July 2020 owners of undesexed cats who are older than 4 months are charged an $80 annual fee. If a new owner adopts an older undesexed cat, the new owner will be charged the $80 fee even if they get the older cat desexed straight away. This penalises the new owner either for the irresponsible pet ownership of the previous owner, or for trying to do the right thing by a stray unowned cat.

This approach unfairly financially burdens individuals and responsible cat rescue groups who desex and rehome thousands of cats across NSW each year. They are new cat owners who take cats into care from other people, or when they are found abandoned and wandering in urban areas.

These new cat owners avoid transferring cats to the council pound and shelters systems which are often full. These new owners save resources and costs for councils and ratepayers, including by minimising euthanasia rates.

They should be rewarded, rather than penalised $80 for doing the right thing.


We call on the NSW Government to stop imposing the $80 annual permit fee for all cats who have already been desexed, including those who are desexed within a short period of time after being adopted by their new owner.   


We believe there are further flaws with the annual fee, including:  

  • The fee may act as a further disincentive to low-income owners to get their cat identified, registered and desexed.
  • The fee may encourage owners of cats older than 4 months to avoid identification (microchipping) and registration so they cannot be traced. 
  • The fee may lead to more cats older than 4 months being abandoned, with an associated increase in illness and disease, or surrendered to pounds/shelters and euthanased.

Therefore the NSW Government’s objective of encouraging more desexing may not be realised.


The $80 annual permit fee is imposed by the NSW Companion Animals Act and Regulations. Please refer to RESOURCES.

The legislation provides various exemptions and grace periods in relation to the fee, including for:

  • cats from council pounds, RSPCA, AWL NSW, CPS, and other Rehoming Organisation cats;   
  • pensioners and others on social welfare; and
  • breeders.

However, in NSW many cats in desperate need are rescued and rehomed but are not exempt.  

Anecdotally, across NSW each year thousands of cats older than 4 months are rehomed by individuals and cat rescue groups. Even though these cats are desexed, identified (including microchipped) and registered with the NSW Government, the $80 fee is still applied at least once for each cat.


  1. NSW OLG webpage re the $80 fee for an annual permit for undesexed cats, including those not desexed before 4 months old  
  2. NSW OLG FAQs for the introduction of annual permits for non-desexed cats 
  3. NSW Companion Animal Act, including exemptions 
  4. NSW Companion Animal Regulations, including exemptions
  5. NSW OLG NSW Pet Registry Frequently Asked Questions (includes user guides)


0 have signed. Let’s get to 10,000!
At 10,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get a reaction from the decision maker!