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Breeding dogs and cats

There are laws for breeding dogs and cats. These apply to anyone involved in reproduction, whether that be providing ova/semen or an 'accidental litter'.

In South Australia there are laws which regulate the breeding, selling and trading of dogs and cats to protect consumers and animals from people who put profits before an animal’s welfare.

These laws aren’t just for registered businesses - they apply to anyone who breeds and/or sells dogs and cats. This includes owners of ‘accidental’ litters and rescue groups. According to South Australian law, anyone who sells a dog or cat they have 'bred', must be registered as a breeder on Dogs and Cats Online.

Breeding and the law

Basically, there are six things South Australian dog and cat breeders must do to comply with the law.

1. Uphold welfare standards for breeding animals

Anyone who breeds and/or trades in companion animals should follow the South Australian Standards and Guidelines for Breeding and Trading Companion Animals. These standards set minimum requirements for housing, husbandry, veterinary care and living conditions for breeding dogs and cats and their litters. All breeders must adhere to, or exceed, these standards to avoid breaking animal welfare laws.

These standards and guidelines are regulated by the Animal Welfare Act 1985 and Animal Welfare Regulations 2012.

2. You must be registered in Dogs and Cats Online

All dogs, cats and breeders must be registered in Dogs and Cats Online. If you wish to breed and sell animals, you must register yourself as a breeder on Dogs and Cats Online.

3. Adhere to advertising rules

Any advertisement selling a dog or cat must include the following information.
Download and follow this advertising example.

  • The seller’s name and number
  • The breeder’s name and number
  • The breeder’s Dogs and Cats Online breeder number
  • If more than one person was involved in the breeding, these details must appear for each person.
4. Dogs and Cats must be microchipped prior to sale

Breeders must have puppies/kittens microchipped before sale. Microchip numbers entered in Dogs and Cats Online must be transferred to the new owner

  • The microchip implanter will record the microchip number in Dogs and Cats Online to the owner/breeder.
  • The breeder must transfer the microchip number to the buyer in Dogs and Cats Online and provide the owner the microchip number so they can complete the registration in Dogs and Cats Online.
Download breeder microchip registration instructions
5. Provide specific information to purchasers

Any person who sells a dog or cat must provide the following information to purchasers in writing. Use this sale certificate template for this purpose.

  • The name, address and phone number of the seller;
  • The name, address, phone number and Dogs and Cats Online breeder number for each breeder involved;
  • Any vaccination, treatment or desexing details the animal has received and the name and address of the veterinarian;
  • The animal’s microchip number; name and address of the microchip implanter; date of the procedure; and registries the microchip information is stored on;
  • Any vet exemptions from microchipping or desexing;
  • Details of any known illness or medical condition;
  • Details of any (dog) control order in place.
Download sale certificate
6. Understand the desexing laws

All dogs and cats born after the 1 July 2018 must be desexed (some exemptions apply). Breeders who are registered in Dogs and Cats Online do not have to have their breeding animals desexed.

Dogs and cats must be desexed within 28 days of purchase and before 6 months of age. If a time extension is granted, the procedure must occur before the date specified in the extension.