Companion Animals Act 1998 No 87
Current version for 5 December 2019 to date (accessed 6 June 2020 at 01:48)
Part 9
Part 9 The Register of Companion Animals
Division 1 Preliminary
78   Definitions
In this Part—
authorised identifier means a person who is an authorised identifier under the regulations.
breeder identification number, in relation to a person, means—
(a)  in any case—the number allocated to the person as a breeder identification number under section 83M, or
(b)  in the case of a person who is a member of a recognised breeders’ organisation—the number allocated to the person by that organisation, or
(c)  in the case of an advertisement about a greyhound—the number allocated to the owner of the animal from whose litter the greyhound being advertised was born at the time of its registration under the greyhound racing rules.
compliance history, in relation to a person (including a breeder), means a record of any of the following—
(a)  a conviction of the person for an offence against, or the making of an order against the person by a court under section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 in respect of a charge for an offence against—
(i)  this Act or the regulations, or
(ii)  section 530 or 531 of the Crimes Act 1900, or
(iii)  the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 or the regulations made under that Act, being an offence that involves a dog or cat being taken into, or being in, a national park or any road traversing a national park, or
(iv)  the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 or the regulations made under that Act,
(b)  a penalty notice issued to the person for any of the following, being a notice that was not withdrawn or in relation to which a court had not dismissed the relevant charges—
(i)  an offence against this Act or the regulations,
(ii)  an offence against the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 or the regulations made under that Act, being an offence that involves a dog or cat being taken into, or being in, a national park or any road traversing a national park,
(iii)  an offence against the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 or the regulations made under that Act,
(c)  any of the following orders made in relation to the person under this Act (including an expired order)—
(i)  an order under section 23 (2) or (3) disqualifying the person,
(ii)  a nuisance order under section 31 or 32A (2),
(iii)  a control order under section 47,
(iv)  a destruction order under section 48,
(v)  an ancillary order under section 50,
(d)  any of the following orders under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 (including an expired order) made in relation to the person—
(i)  an order under section 29C about the care of an animal,
(ii)  an order under section 30 requiring the destruction of the animal,
(iii)  an order under section 31 (1) relating to a conviction,
(iv)  an interstate prohibition order that is recognised under section 31AA,
(e)  any other matter prescribed by the regulations.
greyhound racing rules means the racing rules—
(a)  made by Greyhound Racing New South Wales under the Greyhound Racing Act 2009 and in force before the repeal of that Act, or
(b)  made by the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission under the Greyhound Racing Act 2017.
microchip identification number means—
(a)  in the case of a greyhound—the identification number allocated to the microchip implanted in the greyhound in compliance with the greyhound racing rules, or
(b)  in any other case—the identification number allocated to the microchip implanted in a companion animal in connection with the identification of the animal for the purposes of section 8.
recognised breeders’ organisation means any of the following organisations—
(a)  the Royal New South Wales Canine Council Limited (trading as Dogs New South Wales),
(b)  the NSW Cat Fanciers’ Association Inc,
(c)  Australian National Cats Incorporated,
(d)  any other organisation designated by the Departmental Chief Executive for the purposes of this definition by order published in the Gazette.
rehoming organisation number, in relation to a rehoming organisation, means the number allocated to the organisation under section 83N.
Division 2 Keeping of Register
79   The Register
(1)  There is to be a Register of Companion Animals.
(2)  The Departmental Chief Executive is responsible for the keeping and administration of the Register.
(3)  The Register is to be kept in a form that enables access to the Register to be made online by those persons who are entitled to access information contained in the Register.
(4)  The regulations may make provision for or with respect to either or both of the following—
(a)  the manner and form in which the Register is to be kept,
(b)  any other matter concerning the keeping and administration of the Register.
80   Information on the Register
(1)  The Register is to contain the following information in relation to each registered companion animal—
(a)  the unique identification number allocated to the microchip implanted in the animal in connection with the identification of the animal,
(b)  in the case of a companion animal that was required to be identified for the purposes of section 8—
(i)  the name of the authorised identifier who carried out, or supervised, the implantation of the microchip, and
(ii)  if the authorised identifier was accredited in accordance with the regulations, the authorised identifier number of that identifier,
(c)  in the case of a companion animal that was identified on a voluntary basis by the implantation of a microchip on or after 1 October 2001 (other than a greyhound registered in accordance with the greyhound racing rules)—
(i)  the name of the authorised identifier who carried out, or supervised, the implantation of the microchip, and
(ii)  if the authorised identifier was accredited in accordance with the regulations, the authorised identifier number of that identifier,
(d)  the date on which the animal was identified,
(e)  the address of the place at which the animal is ordinarily kept,
(f)  the name of the council of the area in which the animal is ordinarily kept,
(g)  the type of animal (dog or cat), and the breed of the animal,
(h)  the animal’s date of birth (known or approximate),
(i)  the animal’s sex,
(j)  the animal’s colour and details of any unusual or identifying marks on the animal,
(k)  the full name and contact details of the current owner of the animal,
(l)  any other relevant information relating to the owner of the animal that the Departmental Chief Executive required the owner to provide in connection with an application for registration of the animal,
(m)  the full name of any known previous owner of the animal and any other available contact details for any known previous owner of the animal,
(n)  any other relevant information relating to any previous owner of the animal that the Departmental Chief Executive required the owner to provide in connection with an application for registration of the animal,
(o)  the breeder identification number (if any) of the owner of the animal that produced the litter from which the animal was born,
(p)  in the case of a companion animal purchased or otherwise acquired from a rehoming organisation—the rehoming organisation number of the organisation from which the animal was purchased or otherwise acquired,
(q)  any permit details in relation to the animal,
(r)  any other information relating to the animal that the regulations require to be contained on the Register.
(2)  The Register is to contain the following information in relation to each registered owner of a companion animal specified in the Register, including any person who is no longer a registered owner—
(a)  the name, and telephone number, of the owner,
(b)  if the owner is a natural person—the date of birth of the owner,
(c)  if the owner is not a natural person—any ABN or other identification information about the entity,
(d)  the compliance history of the owner,
(e)  any other relevant information relating to the registered owner of the animal that the Departmental Chief Executive required the registered owner to provide in connection with an application for registration of the animal.
(3)  The Register is to contain the following information in relation to a companion animal the registered owner of which is not a natural person—
(a)  the name, date of birth and telephone number, of each natural person who, at the time of registration, was a person who will ordinarily keep the animal,
(b)  the compliance history of that person,
(c)  any other relevant information relating to that person that the Departmental Chief Executive required the registered owner of the animal to provide in connection with an application for registration of the animal.
(4)  The Register is also to contain any other information prescribed by the regulations.
Division 3 Access to Register
81   Access to Register to be provided free of charge
If a person is entitled to access information contained in the Register by this Division, the Departmental Chief Executive is required to provide that access free of charge.
82   Limited access by owners of companion animals
A person who is the owner of a companion animal is entitled to access information contained in the Register, but only for the purposes of notifying, in accordance with section 11, changes in the registration information or identification information for any companion animal owned by the person.
83   Limited access by members of public
Any member of the public is entitled to access information contained in the Register, but only for any of the following purposes—
(a)  to ascertain whether or not a companion animal is registered (that is, whether all registration information has been entered and payment has been made),
(b)  to verify that a microchip identification number is valid,
(c)  to find the details that correspond to a microchip identification number, namely, the breed, sex and age of the relevant companion animal and whether or not it has been desexed,
(d)  to verify that a breeder identification number is valid,
(e)  to find the details that correspond to a breeder identification number, namely—
(i)  the business name of the owner of any animal from whose litter the animal being researched was born, and
(ii)  the breed, sex and age of all companion animals on the Register that are recorded as having been bred by any owner of the animal from whose litter the animal being researched was born,
(f)  to verify that a rehoming organisation number is valid,
(g)  to find the details that correspond to a rehoming organisation number, namely, the name and address of the relevant rehoming organisation,
(h)  to ascertain whether or not a companion animal is required to have a permit,
(i)  to determine whether or not a permit is in force in relation to the animal and the date on which any such permit expires.
83A   Unrestricted access by Minister
The Minister and any person acting with the Minister’s authority is entitled to full and free access to information contained in the Register at all times.
83B   General access by Secretary of Department of Industry and persons authorised by that Secretary
(1)  The Secretary of the Department of Industry, and any person authorised by the Secretary for the purposes of the administration and enforcement of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979, are entitled to access information contained in the Register, subject to subsection (2).
(2)  The Departmental Chief Executive may give different degrees of access to the Register to different classes of persons referred to in this section, having regard to the different functions that they perform.
83C   General access by certain employees of local authorities
(1)  A local authority may approve an employee or class of employees of the local authority to be eligible to access the Register, either generally or only for the purposes specified in the approval.
(2)  An approved employee is entitled to access information contained in the Register, subject to the terms of the approval.
(3)  For the purposes of this section, the Departmental Chief Executive may, from time to time, prepare, adopt or vary guidelines relating to the exercise by a local authority of the function of approving employees under this section.
(4)  The Departmental Chief Executive may, by giving a written notice to a local authority, suspend access to the Register by any specified employee, or by all employees, approved by the local authority under this section.
(5)  A local authority may withdraw an approval under this section at any time and is required to notify the Office of Local Government of that withdrawal as soon as possible after it occurs.
(6)  When exercising functions under this section, a local authority is required to comply with any relevant guidelines issued under this section.
83D   Limited access by contractors approved by local councils
(1)  A council may approve a person whom the council engages to operate a council pound to be eligible to access the Register, to the extent provided by this section.
(2)  A person approved by a council under this section is entitled to access information contained in the Register, but only for the following purposes—
(a)  identifying any companion animal that has been seized or surrendered under this Act,
(b)  locating the owner of a companion animal in the custody of the person.
(3)  For the purposes of this section, the Departmental Chief Executive may, from time to time, prepare, adopt or vary guidelines relating to the exercise by a council of the function of approving persons under this section.
(4)  The Departmental Chief Executive may, by giving written notice to a council, suspend access to the Register by any specified person, or by all persons, approved by the council under this section.
(5)  A council may withdraw an approval under this section at any time and is required to notify the Office of Local Government of that withdrawal as soon as possible after it occurs.
(6)  When exercising functions under this section, a council is required to comply with any relevant guidelines issued under this section.
83E   Limited access by veterinary practitioners or their employees
(1)  A veterinary practitioner is entitled to access information contained in the Register, but only for the purpose of locating the owner of a companion animal in the custody of the veterinary practitioner or his or her practice.
(2)  An employee of a veterinary practitioner who is being supervised by a veterinary practitioner is entitled to access information contained in the Register, but only for the purpose of locating the owner of a companion animal in the custody of the veterinary practitioner or his or her practice.
83F   Departmental Chief Executive may approve other persons to access the Register
(1)  The Departmental Chief Executive may approve a person to have access to information contained in the Register.
(2)  A person approved under this section is entitled to access information contained in the Register, but only for the following purposes—
(a)  identifying any companion animal that has been seized or surrendered under this Act,
(b)  locating the owner of a companion animal in the custody of the person.
(3)  The Departmental Chief Executive may withdraw an approval under this section at any time.
(4)  Before withdrawing a person’s approval, the Departmental Chief Executive must—
(a)  notify the person of the proposed withdrawal of the approval, and
(b)  give the person a reasonable opportunity to make submissions to the Departmental Chief Executive in respect of the proposed withdrawal, and
(c)  have due regard to any such submissions.
(5)  The Departmental Chief Executive must cause a person whose approval is withdrawn to be notified of the withdrawal in writing. Withdrawal of an approval takes effect on the day on which the notice is given, or from a later day specified in the notice.
83G   Regulations can authorise general or limited access by other specified officers and persons
(1)  The following persons are entitled to access information contained in the Register—
(a)  the holder of any office prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this section,
(b)  a person who is a member of a class of persons prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this section.
(2)  The Departmental Chief Executive may give different degrees of access to the Register to different classes of persons referred to in this section, having regard to the different functions that they perform.
83H   Regulations—access to Register
(1)  The regulations may provide for the ways in which access to the Register can or must be given.
Note.
 For example, access to the Register could be by telephone or by electronic means.
(2)  The regulations may require the Departmental Chief Executive to keep specified records with respect to the access given to the Register under this Part and may provide for the persons who are entitled to access those records.
83I   Departmental Chief Executive may issue guidelines about access to Register
(1)  The Departmental Chief Executive may issue guidelines, not inconsistent with this Part, about the manner in which a person who is entitled under this Division to access the Register may access the Register.
(2)  A person who is entitled under this Division to access the Register is entitled only to the extent that the person complies with any guidelines issued under this Division.
Division 4 Arrangements about Register
83J   Agreements about Register
(1)  The Departmental Chief Executive may enter into an agreement or other arrangement with any person or body in respect of the exercise of functions of the Departmental Chief Executive under this Act by the person or body on behalf of the Departmental Chief Executive.
(2)  Such an agreement or other arrangement can make provision for the ownership of information entered on the Register to be vested in the Departmental Chief Executive.
83K   Exchange of information with other Australian jurisdictions
(1)  Relevant information held by the Departmental Chief Executive may be provided to a relevant inter-State enforcement agency for the purposes of the administration or enforcement by that agency of legislation concerning animal welfare or management, including the prevention of cruelty to animals.
(2)  The Departmental Chief Executive may enter into an arrangement (an information sharing arrangement) with a relevant inter-State enforcement agency for the purpose of sharing or exchanging relevant information held by the Departmental Chief Executive or the agency.
(3)  The relevant information held by the Departmental Chief Executive that may be provided under this section, and to which an information sharing arrangement may relate, is limited to the following—
(a)  information concerning the contravention of this Act or the regulations,
(b)  information concerning an offence under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 or section 530 or 531 of the Crimes Act 1900,
(c)  information concerning the registration of companion animals under this Act,
(d)  details of complaints relating to animal welfare,
(e)  any other information of a type prescribed by the regulations.
(4)  Under an information sharing arrangement, the Departmental Chief Executive and the relevant inter-State enforcement agency are, despite any other Act or law of the State, authorised—
(a)  to request and receive information held by the other party to the arrangement, and
(b)  to disclose information to the other party, and
(c)  to hold and use the information so received.
(5)  Subsection (4) applies only to the extent that the information is reasonably necessary to assist in the exercise of functions under this Act or of the functions of the relevant inter-State enforcement agency concerned that relate to animal welfare or management, including the prevention of animal cruelty.
(6)  This section does not—
(a)  require the Departmental Chief Executive to provide information to a relevant inter-State enforcement agency only in accordance with subsection (1) or with an information sharing arrangement where that information can otherwise be lawfully provided, or
(b)  limit the operation of any other Act or law under which a relevant inter-State enforcement agency is authorised or required to disclose information to another person or body.
(7)  In this section—
information includes reports, recommendations, opinions, assessments and operational plans.
relevant inter-State enforcement agency means an agency of the Commonwealth or another State or Territory that has functions concerning the enforcement of a law about animal welfare or management, including the prevention of cruelty to animals, and includes the following—
(a)  a police force,
(b)  an animal welfare body,
(c)  a local government body,
(d)  a government department or public authority.
Division 5 Miscellaneous
83L   Certificates relating to Register
(1)  The Departmental Chief Executive can issue a certificate certifying as to whether or not a particular companion animal is or was registered at a particular time and certifying any registration information for the animal entered on the Register at a particular time.
(2)  The certificate is evidence of the matters certified. Information entered on the Register is presumed (in the absence of evidence to the contrary) to be correct.
Note.
 Such a certificate can be used as evidence of (for example) the name of the registered owner of a companion animal and the address at which it is ordinarily kept.
83M   Allocation of breeder identification numbers
The Departmental Chief Executive may allocate a breeder identification number to any person who is the owner of a companion animal that has a litter.
83N   Allocation of rehoming organisation numbers
The Departmental Chief Executive may allocate a rehoming organisation number to any rehoming organisation that has applied to the Departmental Chief Executive for a number.