Pet Exchange Register FAQs

The Pet Exchange Register (PER) is an online database where individuals, organisations and businesses can register for a source number. It promotes responsible pet breeding and improves the traceability of dogs and cats being sold in Victoria.

All advertisements to sell, rehome or give away a dog or cat must display each animal’s microchip number and a unique source number from the PER.

A source number is required when implanting a microchip into a dog or cat born after 1 July 2020.

You can also download these FAQs as a PDF.

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A source number:

  • identifies an individual, breeder, business or organisation
  • is generated once an individual enrols on the PER
  • is automatically allocated to domestic animal businesses (DAB) and voluntarily enrolled foster carers following registration with council.

A source number is not a microchip number.

A microchip number is a permanent form of identification implanted into an animal. It provides details of an individual animal’s ownership.

A source number must be included in any advertisement to sell, rehome or give away a dog or cat.

A source number is required when implanting a microchip into a dog or cat born after 1 July 2020.

Where breeder details are unknown, shelters and pounds will need to use their own source number when implanting a new microchip into a dog or cat in their care.

An annual fee applies. Payment can be made online, by phone or BPAY.

A source number is valid for one year and can be renewed annually for as long as you need it for advertising and/or microchip implantation in Victoria. If you no longer require your source number, you may simply let it expire. A source number can be renewed at any time.

DABs and foster carers registered with councils are not required to pay a fee as councils enrol them. Their source number is valid for as long as the registration with council is valid.

Yes, it is compulsory for all dogs and cats in Victoria to be microchipped prior to being sold or given away. Animals must also be microchipped prior to being registered by council.

Yes, the current requirement to advertise all dogs, cats, puppies and kittens with a microchip number still applies.

No. DAB registration numbers and local council name are no longer required.

No. Breeders from applicable organisations need to enrol on the PER as a recreational breeder and use their unique source number in advertisements.

An applicable organisation is approved by the Minister for Agriculture under the Domestic Animals Act 1994. Members of applicable organisations are entitled to reduced local council animal registration fees and their animals are exempted from local council desexing orders. Members must abide by the code of conduct or ethics of their organisation.

The current approved applicable organisations are:

  • Australian National Cats Inc.
  • Dogs Victoria
  • Feline Control Council (Victoria) Inc.
  • The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy Australia and Victoria Inc.
  • Master Dog Breeders & Associates.

Members of the public can see specific information on the PER. This includes the source number, the council municipality where the advertiser is located and if relevant the DAB registration number or applicable organisation name and membership number.

Prospective buyers are encouraged to check the validity of a seller by searching theadvertiser’s source number on the PER before they acquire a dog, cat, puppy or kitten.

Anyone advertising to rehome or give away a dog, cat, puppy or kitten must be enrolled on the PER and include their source number and the animal’s microchip number on any advertisements.

Those rehoming or giving away a dog or cat without advertising do not need a source number from the PER. However, a source number is required when implanting a microchip into a dog or cat born after 1 July 2020.

Yes. A source number is required as prescribed identifying information when mircrochipping a dog or cat born after 1 July 2020.

No, enrolling on the PER is a straight-forward process.

The PER improves traceability and makes it easier for prospective buyers to know that their pet has come from a valid source.

You do not need a source number to surrender an animal to a rescue organisation, shelter or pound.

It is an offence to publish an advertisement without a valid microchip number and a source number.

The offence applies to advertisers selling or giving away dogs, cats, puppies and kittens, and those publishing non-compliant advertisements. Penalties apply.

Animal Welfare Victoria has a dedicated compliance team to monitor compliance with the new advertising requirements. Local council and RSPCA Victoria officers are also authorised to enforce the PER’s requirements.

To report an advertising concern please visit the Pet Exchange Register and select ‘report an advertising concern.’

To assist Animal Welfare Victoria to fully investigate a report, where possible please include:

  • A URL link to the advertisement
  • Name of the publisher e.g. Gumtree, Trading Post
  • Name and contact details of the seller (if displayed)
  • Source number & microchips displayed in the ad (if any)
  • Upload screenshots of the ad.

You can enrol on the PER via the Animal Welfare Victoria website.

The PER allows enrolment on a variety of online devices. Paper enrolment forms are also available. For copies of paper forms, please contact 136 186 or email per@agriculture.vic.gov.au

No. A source number is only required for advertisements to sell, rehome or give away a dog or cat.

The new advertising requirements do not apply to other pets including, rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, rats, mice, birds, fish, reptiles and horses.

For more information

Visit the Animal Welfare Victoria website, email per@agriculture.vic.gov.au or call 136 186.

Page last updated: 31 May 2022