New Laws on Selling or Breeding Dogs & Cats

January 17, 2012

On January 1, 2012, the Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farm Enforcement and Other Matters) Act 2011 came into effect, making a number of changes to existing legislation. While raising penalties for animal cruelty and increasing council and RSPCA powers to seize animals and issue infringement notices, the most significant changes are targeted at inhumane “puppy farms”. If you breed dogs or cats or are selling a pet, you should be aware of how these laws impact you.


Anyone selling a dog or cat is required to ensure that the advertisement includes the animal’s unique microchip registration number. While not necessary if the pet is being offered for free, failure to include the registration number when advertising a dog or cat for sale can result in penalties of $610.70.


Under the amendments to the Domestic Animals Act 1994, anyone who has three or more fertile female cats or dogs and sells cats or dogs (whether or not for profit) needs to be registered as a domestic animal business.  However, when a breeder belongs to an applicable breeding organization, the threshold is raised to ten or more fertile cats or dogs.

To make sure that you are complying with these new laws, visit the Department of Primary Industries’ website at, or contact us at Hutchinson Legal on (03) 9870 9870.

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