Vic Div Domestic Animals Amendments (Puppy Farm and Pet Shops) Bill 2016

Following Royal Ascent of the amended Bill, significant changes will be made to the Act.

  • Dog breeding domestic animal businesses will be limited to 10 fertile females with council approval alone
  • Commercial dog breeding establishments, that wish to keep 11-50 fertile females, will be required to be a registered domestic animal business with council and receive approval from Minister for Agriculture. This will be granted in exceptional circumstances only, following an audit and recommendation to the minister by Victoria’s Chief Veterinary Officer
  • Applicable Organisations will continue to regulate their own breeding members, under improved codes of ethics. Breeding members with up to 10 fertile females will be known as Recreational Breeders
  • The definition of farm working dogs is clarified, registered farm working dogs (on primary production land) will not count towards the number of fertile female dogs
  • Foster carers are defined and can now voluntarily register with council and receive a reduced registration rate for dogs and cats in their care
  • Pet stores will only be allowed to source animals from pounds, shelters or registered foster carers, and only dogs older than six months, or kittens from eight weeks can be sold
  • There is clearer criteria for approval of Applicable Organisations and Approved Obedience Training Organisations
  • Organisations will be able to apply to the Minister for Agriculture for an animal sales permit to sell animals in a public place
  • There will be a new scheme to allow for caged bird sales in Victoria
  • Breeding businesses, shelters or pet stores will not be able to register as multiple domestic animal businesses
  • The expansion of the central breeders’ database, to be known as the Pet Exchange Register, so that all advertisers (including domestic animal businesses) of cats and dogs to be sold or given away are required to apply for a unique source number
  • Broadening advertising offences so that advertisers of cats and dogs must include a valid microchip number and source number when advertising for sale or to give away
  • Allowing for authorised access to the Pet Exchange Register, including all authorised officers
  • Prospective pet buyers will be able to visit the Pet Exchange Register website and confirm whether the source of their pet is registered. If valid, the Pet Exchange Register will confirm the advertiser’s registration and council
  • Revising the date for Domestic Animal Management Plans, and setting the next date due as 4 December 2021, and every four years thereafter
  • New enforcement powers for authorised officers.

Key aspects of the current Act that will not change include:

  • Owners of one or two fertile females are not required to register with council as a domestic animal business, but will be required to register with the Secretary on the Pet Exchange Register for the purposes of advertising
  • Applicable Organisation members will not be required to register with council if they have 10 or less fertile females, but will be required to register with the Secretary on the Pet Exchange Register for the purposes of advertising.

The majority of these changes will come into effect on 10 April 2018, with some arrangements for pet shops coming into effect on 1 July 2018.  The Pet Exchange Register will commence no later than 1 July 2019 and some arrangements for numbers of breeding female dogs come into force on 10 April 2020.

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