The Victorian Government is developing a new Pet Exchange Register as part of its commitment to shut down puppy farms and reform pet shops. The new state-wide database will improve the traceability of dogs and cats in Victoria by:
- Listing all advertisers of dogs or cats on a centralised database
- Providing prospective dog or cat purchasers with assurance that their pet comes from a registered source
- Enabling authorised officers of Animal Welfare Victoria, local councils and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) Victoria to monitor all dog and cat breeders.
The Pet Exchange Register will impact a wide range of people, from domestic animal business owners to voluntarily enrolled foster carers, to Victorian pet owners. Anyone who wishes to advertise a dog (excluding Greyhound Racing Victoria greyhounds) or cat for sale, or to give away, will be required to obtain a source number from the Pet Exchange Register and list this number as part of their advertisement.
To successfully implement the Pet Exchange Register, changes to the Domestic Animals Regulations 2015 (DA Regulations) are required. Minor changes to clarify and improve the commercial dog breeding approval scheme, animal sale permits and microchips, and technical changes are also proposed. Read the proposed changes below.
The new Pet Exchange Register is one of a number of changes introduced by the Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farms and Pet Shops) Act 2017 (PFPS Act). Other key changes in the PFPS Act include:
- limits to the number of fertile female dogs a breeder can keep (a total of 10 breeding female dogs with only council approval)
- a new Minister approved commercial dog breeder scheme for breeders to keep up to 50 fertile female dogs
- pet shops only sourcing cats or dogs from approved sources (i.e. registered shelters, pounds or voluntarily enrolled foster carers)
- new schemes for animal sales permits and bird sales
- the voluntary foster carer scheme
The Pet Exchange Register is a key component of this change. It will be a state-wide database which will improve traceability of dogs and cats in Victoria.