A new bill just passed in parliament will allow shelters and participating vets to accept lost pets rather than local councils in an effort to speed up reunification.
The Domestic Animals Amendment (Reuniting Pets and Other Matters) Bill 2021 was passed on Thursday and will be in effect from October 1.
Currently, lost cats and dogs must be handed in to an authorised officer in the council area where the animal is found, or to vets and shelters with an agreement under the Domestic Animals Act 1994.
Just 23 per cent of vets have a contract with council to accept lost pets resulting in many animals spending longer in shelters.
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Minister for agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas said the amendments would improve welfare outcomes.
"Pets are an important part of any family, and these reforms will make the reuniting of lost pets with their owners easier and quicker, improving the welfare outcomes for all," she said.
"This new legislation builds on our commitment towards improving animal welfare, and highlights other work we are doing to ensure breeding practices across the state remain robust, humane and safe."
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