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Breeding dogs and cats

Breeders of dogs and cats must adhere to the South Australian Standards and Guidelines for Breeding and Trading Companion Animals, which came into effect on 1 August 2017. The Standards set out minimum health and welfare requirements for breeding and selling companion animals. The Standards must also be adhered to by pet shops, shelters, and any other venue where companion animals are sold.

Breeding a dog or cat

A person can apply to the Dog and Cat Management Board to be registered as a breeder. Any person wanting to sell a dog or cat that they have bred must not sell the animal unless:

  • they are registered with the Dog and Cat Management Board as a breeder; or
  • they are registered with an approved representative body (as defined by regulation); or
  • they are registered as a breeder under the laws of another jurisdiction.

See Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 (SA) s 69.

There is a blanket provision against breeding and/or selling a dog of a prescribed breed [see ss 4, 69(2) and 70(6)].

It is an offence for a person to sell a dog or cat that they have bred without first being registered in one of the above ways.

Maximum Penalty: fine of up to $5 000

Expiation fee: $315.

A person will be taken to have bred a dog or cat if the person:

  • provides the semen or ova used to breed the dog or cat; or
  • provides any assistance in the course of breeding the dog or cat; or
  • provides facilities used in the course of breeding the dog or cat.

See Dog and Cat Management Regulations 2017 (SA) reg 17(1).

In addition to the above, a person will also be taken to have bred a dog or cat if they allow, or fail to take reasonable steps to prevent:

  • their dog or cat impregnating another dog or cat; or
  • their dog or cat from being impregnated by another dog or cat.

See Dog and Cat Management Regulations 2017 (SA) reg 17(2).

However, a person will not be considered to be a breeder if they seize a pregnant dog or cat in the circumstances prescribed in sections 61 and 64A of the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 (SA).

A person must not sell a dog (except for a livestock dog) or a cat unless the animal has been microchipped and desexed [see Dog and Cat Management Regulations 2017 (SA) reg 10(1)(a)].

Maximum Penalty: fine of up to $5 000

Expiation fee: $315

These requirements apply regardless of whether or not the person actually selling the dog or cat is also the breeder of the animal [see Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 (SA) s 70(3)]. The requirements do not apply to dogs or cats sold from one breeder to another, nor to the sale of a dog or cat that is not going to be kept in South Australia [Dog and Cat Management Regulations 2017 (SA) regs 18(4)(a) and 18(4)(c)].

Breeding dogs and cats  :  Last Revised: Mon Jul 2nd 2018
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.