Puppies Online

Regulation of dog breeding in Australia - are we making progress?

2023-10-26 Posted by Puppies Online
A highly controversial topic, dog breeding regulation in Australia. On one side you have the view that dog breeding should be limited and the focus should be on rehoming and rescues, and on the other you have facilities that are exploiting a current lack of regulation to cash in on demand. So where are regulations at in Australia in 2023 and what progress are they making? 

Looking back to 1991, one of the most significant developments in dog breeding regulation was the creation of the Australian National Kennel Council, the peak body responsible for the registration and breeding of purebred dogs in Australia. It determines the breeding standards for each breed and works to ensure that breeders adhere to them. They also oversee the registration of litters and issuing of pedigree papers for puppies. 

In addition to the ANKC, each state and territory has its own legislation in place to regulate dog breeding. These vary significantly from state to state, but all tend to focus on issues such as licensing, facility inspections and issuing penalties for breaches of these regulations. 

An example of this, and more current development is in ACT under Section 74 of the Domestic Animals Act 2000, makes it an offence to own an un-desexed dog over 6 months old without a permit.*

Another driving force on the development of stricter breeding regulations in Australia has been animal welfare groups and organisations such as RSPCA and Animal Welfare League who have been instrumental in bringing about change in the industry. 

Next to this, the media and general public have played a huge role in bringing about change in the industry, by identifying and calling out those in the industry who do the wrong thing. With a lack of resources available to monitor the activity of every facility in the country, this is an important step in keeping breeders accountable and it’s encouraged that people report to the relevant authorities if they come across something that doesn’t feel right so it can be looked into and dealt with. 

At the moment, the NSW government is piloting a Pet Registry Program that will boast a state-of-the-art user-friendly portal, allowing instant transfers of ownership and making it easier for vets, owners and rehoming organisations to ensure animal details are up to date. The pilot program is underway until the end of June with plans for the state to roll it out across the state by the end of 2023. If successful, it’s hoped that other states might look to NSW as a role model.* 

One of the reasons that regulation of dog breeding in Australia is such a complex issue is a huge misalignment of perspectives by different stakeholders on what constitutes appropriate breeding standards, and disagreements on how to best regulate and enforce them. 

While these regulations have come a long way in the last 20 years, there's still a lot of problems that are unsolved and are a work-in-progress. One huge positive is the fast growing awareness of these issues by the general public, which is at least seeing these problems discussed more frequently, resulting in more ideas being shared on how to improve regulating the industry. 

Puppies Online has developed an independent breeder Code of Ethics thats based on the standards of regulating bodies and other concerned groups in the industry such as ANKC, PIAA, MDBA as well as state legislation, and sets forth the minimum standards that our members must adhere to in order to promote the well-being of dogs and maintain the highest level of integrity in the breeding community. For more info on this or to become a Puppies Online partner breeder email us at hello@puppiesonline.com.au or message us through the contact form.