Breeding and selling

South Australia has laws to regulate the breeding, sale and welfare of dogs and cats. Anyone selling a dog or cat they have bred, must follow the six basic rules below. This includes rescue groups and owners of animals who have ‘accidental’ litters.

In November 2022 the Dog and Cat Management Board (Board) advised there would be new rules and processes to meet the government’s commitment to ban puppy factories and introduce stricter standards for breeding. Learn more about these changes >>

1. Uphold welfare standards for breeding animals

The South Australian Standards and Guidelines for Breeding and Trading Companion Animals set out the acceptable housing, husbandry, veterinary care and living standards for breeding animals and their litters. You must follow or exceed these standards to avoid breaking state animal welfare laws.

2. Apply to register as a breeder in Dogs and Cats Online

Everyone that breeds dogs or cats for sale must apply to register as a breeder at Dogs and Cats Online and pay the registration fee. This includes rescue groups and owners of animals who have had ‘accidental’ litters. Dogs and Cats Online is the state database for dog, cat, breeder registrations; microchip and desexing information. If your contact details change (address, email or phone number) at any time, you must update this information in Dogs and Cats Online.

3. Adhere to advertising rules

Any advertisements to sell dogs or cats must include the following information for each breeder and person involved in the sale (you can follow this example).

  • Names and phone numbers
  • DACO breeder numbers
4. Microchip dogs and cats before sale

You must have puppies and kittens microchipped before you sell them and have the microchip recorded in Dogs and Cats Online.

  • Typically the implanter records the microchip number to the breeder (current owner) in Dogs and Cats Online.
  • When puppies or kittens are sold, the breeder then transfers the microchip number to the buyer via Dogs and Cats Online
  • The breeder gives the microchip number to the purchaser so they can register their animal.

Download breeder's guide to microchip transfers

5. Information for purchasers

Anyone that sells a dog or cat must provide the following information to the purchaser in writing (or use this template).

  • Names, phone numbers and DACO breeder numbers of everyone involved in the breeding and sale of the animal.
  • Vaccination details, known illnesses or medical conditions.
  • If desexed, the name and address of the vet and date of procedure.
  • The animal’s microchip number, date of procedure, any national registries the microchip information is stored on and name and address of the microchip implanter.
  • For dogs, any control order on the dog.
  • Any vet exemptions from microchipping or desexing.
6. Understand the desexing laws

Dogs and cats born after the 1 July 2018 must be desexed before 6 months of age or within 28 days of purchasing. Breeders registered in Dogs and Cats Online do not have to have their breeding animals desexed. Other dogs and cats exempt from desexing are those registered and owned by Dogs SA, Feline Association of South Australia or Governing Council of the Cat Fancy members; working livestock dogs; registered Greyhound Racing SA dogs; or any a vet has declared in writing that to do so would compromise its health or wellbeing.