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     FrontPage Edition: Mon 6 August 2007

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New dog licensing rules from 1 Sep 2007


The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) has made revisions to the Animals and Birds (Dog Licensing and Control) Rules. The revised Rules will come into effect on 1 Sep 07.
The new Rules are targeted at better management of the dog population as well as to instill responsible pet ownership and discourage pet abandonment. The key changes are as follows:
(a) Mandatory microchipping of all newly licensed dogs
All licensed dogs must be microchipped with an ISO compliant microchip.
Dogs that were licensed before 1 Sep 07 will be exempted from the requirement. However, owners of such dogs are strongly encouraged to have their dogs microchipped for better traceability.
All new dog owners must submit documentary proof from a veterinarian to show that their dogs have been microchipped.
Microchipping is a more effective and permanent identification system than dog badges. It is a more reliable way to ensure traceability in the event of a rabies outbreak. At the same time, it would also help AVA to trace and return lost dogs to owners.
(b) Harmonisation of dog licence fees
Under the new Rules1, the annual licence fee for all unsterilised dogs (both male and female) is $70 while the licence fee for sterilised dogs is $14.
The alignment of fees takes into account that unsterilised male and female dogs are equally responsible for breeding.
To encourage early licensing of dogs, the new Rules allow owners to license their dogs that are up to 5 months of age at a reduced rate of $14 a year even if the dogs are not sterilised.
However, owners will have to sterilise their dog before the expiry date of the dog licence as otherwise, the licence fee of $70 is payable at the time of licence renewal.
A group licence fee will also be introduced for dogs kept in registered farms for breeding, boarding and training.
The licence fees are as follows:

i) More than 300 dogs on the premises

$3,500 per annum

ii) More than 200 dogs but not more than 300 dogs on the premises

$1,700 per annum

iii) More than 100 dogs but not more than 200 dogs

$1,100 per annum

iv) 100 or fewer dogs on the premises

$ 650 per annum

(c) Higher penalties for keeping of unlicensed dogs, allowing dogs to stray and failing to muzzle dangerous breeds of dogs in public places
A dog above 3 months of age must be licensed.
To discourage dog owners from keeping unlicensed dogs, allowing their dogs to stray or not muzzling dogs of breeds2 that are required to be muzzled in a public place (eg, the Rottweiller or Mastiff); the maximum fine for such offences has been raised from $500 to $5,000.
In the event of the loss or death of a dog, or a change in address of the dog owner, the owner is required to inform AVA within 28 days.
Under the new Rules, a dog licence is not transferable. When a licensee does not renew the dog licence upon its expiry, the licensee may be fined for keeping a dog without a valid licence and will have to apply for a new dog licence.
d) Pet shops and dog breeding farms to help buyers license their dogs
All dogs for sale at pet shops and dog breeding farms are to be licensed at the point of sale. The pet shop or farm would be responsible to assist a new owner in getting his dog licensed, but the licence fee would be borne by the owner.
AVA will continue to review our policies and regulations, in tandem with our public education efforts, to ensure that they remain relevant and support our efforts to promote responsible pet ownership.
For further enquiries and information, please:
- visit AVA¨s website at
- e-mail
- call the Centre for Animal Welfare and Control service line at 6471- 9987 on weekdays from 8 am to 5 pm
More..... (FAQ)

1 Previously, the annual licence fee for a male dog and for a female dog was $14 and $70 respectively, while the licence fee for a sterilised female dog was $14 a year.

2 Breeds of dogs that are required to be muzzled in a public place include:

i) Breeds specified in Part I of the Second Schedule: Pit Bull, which includes the American Pit Bull Terrier (which is also known as the American Pit Bull and Pit Bull Terrier), American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Bulldog, and crosses between them and other breeds, Akita, Neapolitan Mastiff, Tosa, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Boerboel, and their crosses; and

ii) Breeds specified in Part II of the Second Schedule: Bull Terrier, Doberman Pinscher, Rottweiller, German Shepherd Dog with its related breeds such as the Belgian Shepherd Dog and the East European Shepherd Dog, Mastiffs including the Bull Mastiff, Perro De Presa Canario, Cane Corso and Dogue De Bordeaux, and their crosses.

Source: Press Release 6 Aug 2007

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