Local council responsibilities
Council must register domestic animal businesses to operate and should conduct annual audits or regular inspections to ensure the proprietors are operating their domestic animal businesses in accordance with the mandatory Code of Practice.
Council should follow up on the registration of animals purchased from domestic animal businesses to ensure compliance with the Act and the requirement of dog and cat owners to register their pets with Council.
If people have an issue with a domestic animal business in their area a person can report their concerns to the Council for compliance action. Council may expect the person to provide the information in writing to give the Council Authorised Officers reasonable grounds to investigate the claims.
Council Authorised Officers have the power to enter domestic animal businesses on reasonable grounds and at reasonable times to investigate the compliance of these establishments with the Act and specific mandatory Code of Practice the business is required to comply with.
If the domestic animal business is unregistered the Council can prosecute the proprietor for operating an unregistered domestic animal business, this offence carries a penalty of 164 penalty units for a private person and 600 penalty units for a body corporate in the Magistrates Court. Also, if the proprietor sells an animal from an unregistered business this is a separate offence which carries a penalty of 30 penalty units for a private person and 150 penalty units for a body corporate in court.
If the proprietor is not operating their domestic animal business in accordance with the mandatory Code of Practice, Council Officers can issue infringements or file charges in the Magistrates Court for each breach.
These offences carry a penalty of up to 246 penalty units for a private person and 600 penalty units for a body corporate in court. They may also revoke the business registration.
Cruelty and welfare concerns can be reported by the Council or the complainant to inspectors under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 including the Police, RSPCA and some Council officers who are authorised under this Act.