Victorian Breeders

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 and representative groups.

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*
  • 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**
  • strengthen pet advertisement offences

*Note, relevant sections commenced on 1 July 2018

**Note, relevant section commences on 1 July 2019

Breeding and selling animals

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

What needs to be in advertisements for cats and dogs?
All advertisements for the sale or giveaway of a dog or cat must display both the seller’s source number and the individual animal’s microchip number.
Resources link
Advertising dog and cats 

Pet Exchange Register
It’s an offence to advertise a dog or cat for sale or to give away without the animal’s microchip number and Pet Exchange Register source number.
Resource Link

Fact sheets

Below are a range of fact sheets and info graphics, which contain additional detail about the Act.

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

Puppy Farm Legislation
Domestic animal legislation updates
Domestic business animal registration fees
Code of Practice for the Operation Of Breeding and Rearing  Business

Pet shops

Pet shops are required to register themselves with their local council as a Domestic Animal Business and comply with the mandatory Code of Practice.
Pet shops 

Commercial dog breeders

Dog breeders who wish to keep between 11 and 50 relevant fertile female dogs must apply to the Minister for Agriculture for commercial dog breeder approval.
Commercial Dog Breeders 

Farm working dogs

The legal and health issues that owners of working dogs must be aware of.

Animal rescue

Community foster care networks, rescue groups and foster carers are essential in assisting to reduce the number of animals located in pounds and shelters.
Community foster care networks 

Foster Carer Registration Scheme

Individual foster carers may apply to their local council to become a registered foster carer as part of a voluntary scheme. … Councils may set an application fee for enrolling foster carers to the scheme.
Foster carers 

Exemption dog training organisations

Governor in Council exemption for Guides Dogs Victoria and Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs from the requirements of a DAB and section 96 of the DA Act, 1994.
 Dog training organisations 

Breeding and rearing businesses


Consequential changes to breeding code – commenced 12 June 2018
The Minister for Agriculture has made consequential changes to the Code of Practice for the Operation of Breeding and Rearing Businesses (2014) following the commencement of new breeding provisions under the Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farms and Pet Shops) Act 2017.

The changes note the new commercial breeding and recreational breeding provisions, including updated qualifications.

Amended breeding code – commenced 1 July 2015

The Minister for Agriculture has taken action to further crack down on illegal puppy and kitten farms.
An amended Code of Practice for the Operation of Breeding and Rearing Businesses (2014) commenced on 1 July 2015. It has been amended to require breeders to obtain a veterinary health check for all female dogs prior to each mating cycle.
In addition, the Code contains minor typographical corrections, and minor amendments to update the Code with respect to Machinery of Government changes and the Primary Industries Legislation Amendment Act 2014.

Copies of the updated Code are available online.

Breeding and rearing businesses

A dog breeding business is any business that breeds dogs for sale.
Any dog or breeding business with 11 to 50 fertile female dogs, must register as a Domestic Animal Business with the local council in the municipality that it resides.
Where the breeder is a member of an Applicable Organisation, the proprietor must only register as a Domestic Animal Business with their local council when they have more than 10 fertile female dogs or cats.
A rearer is an enterprise that is run for profit and carries out the rearing of dogs , and must register as a Domestic Animal Business with their local council.

Breeding and rearing businesses must comply with the mandatory Code of Practice for the Operation of Breeding and Rearing Businesses (2014), which came into effect on 30 October 2014. This Code outlines minimum welfare standards for the housing and management of dogs in breeding and rearing businesses.
It is important that all breeders and rearers familiarise themselves with the requirements of the Code of Practice, along with fact sheets outlining Regulations for Dog Breeders . In addition, breeders and rearer’s must comply with individual local and planning laws within their municipal council.

Breeding Animals with Heritable Defects

All breeders must also be familiar with and comply with the mandatory Code of Practice for the Breeding of Animals with Heritable Defects that Cause Disease.


RSPCA enforcement of the Breeding Code

To complement the strengthening of the breeding code, the RSPCA receives additional funding to help enforce these regulations across Victoria.
Six million dollars was allocated, over four years, to enable the RSPCA to police the code and provide health care, rehabilitation and re-homing services for seized animals.
This will help the RSPCA to identify and shut down illegal businesses when they are selling cats and dogs.

Resources – POCTA Victoria

.We have a page on our website find your code , we update this page as we are notified with any changes, at minimum all members are required to meet these standard, follow guidelines and all instructions issued by their local state COP’S.

The AAPDB Inc does not support puppy farms and welcome all changes put in place to stamp out illegal puppy farms. If you are found to be in breach of any COP your membership will be terminated.