Responsible Cat Ownership
The South Australian Dog and Cat Management Act has been designed to help manage stray and nuisance cats, while providing legal protection for cats and cat owners. Identification separates owned from stray cats.
By law, an identified cat is owned and is therefore legally protected. Your cat can be identified by either: a collar bearing the owner's address OR phone number; or a microchip inserted under the cat's skin by a vet, with an "M" tattooed in the ear. If an identified cat is trapped, it must be released immediately. If an unidentified cat is trapped, it may be released or taken to an authorised person within 12 hours. That person will be able to release it, impound it, give it away, sell it, or euthanase it. The legal protection of cats does not extend to national parks and reserves. If any cat is found in a national park, designated sanctuary or Crown lands, or more than one kilometre from any place genuinely used as a residence, then legally it can be destroyed regardless of whether or not it is identified.