Breeding and rearing businesses
Consequential changes to breeding code – commenced 12 June 2018
The Minister for Agriculture has made consequential changes to the Code of Practice for the Operation of Breeding and Rearing Businesses (2014) following the commencement of new breeding provisions under the Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farms and Pet Shops) Act 2017.
The changes note the new commercial breeding and recreational breeding provisions, including updated qualifications.
Amended breeding code – commenced 1 July 2015
The Minister for Agriculture has taken action to further crack down on illegal puppy and kitten farms.
An amended Code of Practice for the Operation of Breeding and Rearing Businesses (2014) commenced on 1 July 2015. It has been amended to require breeders to obtain a veterinary health check for all female dogs prior to each mating cycle.
In addition, the Code contains minor typographical corrections, and minor amendments to update the Code with respect to Machinery of Government changes and the Primary Industries Legislation Amendment Act 2014.
Breeding and rearing businesses
A dog or cat breeding business is any business that breeds dogs or cats for sale.
Any dog or cat breeding business with 3 or more fertile female dogs, or 3 or more fertile female cats, must register as a Domestic Animal Business with the local council in the municipality that it resides.
Where the breeder is a member of an Applicable Organisation, the proprietor must only register as a Domestic Animal Business with their local council when they have more than 10 fertile female dogs or cats.
Applicable organisation members with 11 or more fertile females must register as a Domestic Animal Business with their local council.
A rearer is an enterprise that is run for profit and carries out the rearing of dogs and cats, and must register as a Domestic Animal Business with their local council.
Breeding and rearing businesses must comply with the mandatory Code of Practice for the Operation of Breeding and Rearing Businesses (2014), which came into effect on 30 October 2014. This Code outlines minimum welfare standards for the housing and management of dogs and cats in breeding and rearing businesses.
It is important that all breeders and rearers familiarise themselves with the requirements of the Code of Practice, along with fact sheets outlining Regulations for Dog Breeders and Regulations for Cat Breeders. In addition, breeders and rearers must comply with individual local and planning laws within their municipal council.
Breeding Animals with Heritable Defects
All breeders must also be familiar with and comply with the mandatory Code of Practice for the Breeding of Animals with Heritable Defects that Cause Disease.
RSPCA enforcement of the Breeding Code
To complement the strengthening of the breeding code, the RSPCA receives additional funding to help enforce these regulations across Victoria.
Six million dollars was allocated, over four years, to enable the RSPCA to police the code and provide health care, rehabilitation and rehoming services for seized animals.
This will help the RSPCA to identify and shut down illegal businesses when they are selling cats and dogs.