Dogs and cats

The welfare of dogs and cats in NSW is protected by legislation and supporting Codes and Standards. If you own or care for a cat or dog at any stage during its life, it is your responsibility to provide for its needs and protect its welfare.

There are laws, regulations and standards in place to help ensure good welfare outcomes for companion animals. Good animal welfare requires disease prevention and veterinary treatment, appropriate shelter, management, nutrition and humane handling.

This site will help you to understand how you can protect animal welfare and fulfil your responsibilities and obligations when you own, buy, rehome, adopt or sell a cat or dog.

To learn more about the exhibition and display of dogs and cats visit Zoo, circus and other exhibited animals.

To learn more about the use of dogs and cats in research and teaching visit Animals in research and teaching.

Standards, Guidelines and Codes of Practice


The following documents are prescribed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 (POCTA). It is a requirement that people involved in the care and welfare of dogs and cats must comply with these documents.

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