Puppy farm legislation

Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farms and Pet Shops) Act 2017

The Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farm and Pet Shops) Act 2017 (the PFPS Act) passed the Victorian Parliament on 15 December 2017 and is now in operation.

The PFPS Act was introduced to Parliament following a parliamentary inquiry and feedback from:

  • members of the general public
  • veterinary groups
  • animal welfare organisations
  • rescue organisations
  • local councils
  • dog and cat breeders
  • pet shops
  • representative groups.

[Narrator]

Did you know more than 60% of Victorians own a pet?

We love our furry and feathered friends, and want to know they came from a good home or responsible breeder.

The Victorian Government has made changes to pet breeding laws that will enhance the welfare of our cats and dogs.

These changes follow conversations with stakeholders and the public about how we can improve the pet breeding industry.

Pet shops can only sell puppies and kittens sourced from a registered pound, shelter or voluntarily enrolled foster carer.

A new pet exchange register will be in effect from 1 July 2019 to help all Victorians trace where their new pets come from.

Anyone advertising to sell or give away a cat or dog in Victoria must be enrolled on the register.

Breeders with one to two fertile female cats or dogs are defined as 'microbreeders' and do not have to register as a breeding business with council.

Breeders with three or more female cats or dogs, that are not members of applicable organisations, must register as a breeding business with council.

Members of a dog or cat applicable organisation, such as Dogs Victoria, with up to 10 fertile females are defined as 'recreational breeders' and are exempt from registering as a breeding business with council. These organisations bind members with a strict code of ethics.

No dog breeder will be able to have more than 10 fertile females with council approval alone.

From 10 April 2020, breeders with more than 10 fertile female dogs must seek approval from the Minister to operate and meet additional requirements. Approved commercial dog breeders can own a maximum of 50 fertile female dogs.

Further improvements include a clear definition of farm working dogs and a new animal sale permit system.

A new scheme has been developed to allow bird sales in Victoria.

The Government is committed to making life better for our beloved pets in Victoria and working with pet breeding organisations to ensure kittens and puppies sold in Victoria come from responsible breeders.

For more information visit us online at animalwelfare.vic.gov.au

{END VIDEO TRANSCRIPT}

The amendments to the Domestic Animals Act 1994 (Act) deliver on the government's election commitment to reform the dog breeding and pet shop industries in Victoria and better regulate the sale of dogs and cats.

The PFPS Act amends the Act to:

  • limit the number of fertile female dogs breeders can keep
  • restrict pet shops to selling dogs and cats sourced from shelters, pounds or enrolled foster carers (relevant sections commenced on 1 July 2018)
  • clarify the role of foster carers
  • define 'recreational breeders' and 'microbreeders'
  • confirm the definition of 'farm working dogs'
  • introduce the animal sale permit system
  • improve traceability of cats and dogs through the establishment of the Pet Exchange Register (relevant section commenced on 1 July 2019)
  • strengthen pet advertisement offences.

Breeding and selling animals

Applications and permits to breed and sell animals in accordance with legal obligations are available:

We have a range of factsheets and infographics, which contain additional detail about the Act.

Factsheets

Infographics

Page last updated: 27 Aug 2020