Companion animals and buying, selling and trading pets

NSW DPI and the NSW Office of Local Government have a shared interest in safeguarding animal welfare and promoting responsible pet ownership in NSW.

Inquiry into Companion Animal Breeding Practices in New South Wales

In 2015, the NSW Government established a Joint Select Committee to look into companion animal breeding practices.

This followed media reports of poor companion animal breeding practices in commercial for-profit breeding facilities in NSW and related prosecutions for animal welfare offences.

The Inquiry included an open submissions process and public hearings and generated a very large level of interest in the community and the media. The Inquiry received 344 submissions, a petition containing 3,000 signatures, and over 2,200 emails and other correspondence.

The Joint Select Committee took evidence from 42 witnesses at three public hearings.

In response to the final report of the Inquiry, the NSW Government committed to supporting, or supporting in principle 27 of the Inquiry’s 34 recommendations.

Since that time, a number of these recommendations have already been implemented and this work continues.

Companion Animals Regulation review

The Office of Local Government is leading a statutory review of the Companion Animals Regulation 2008, prior to its automatic repeal on 1 September 2018.

For more information, visit the Office of Local Government website.

Work underway

NSW DPI and the NSW Office of Local Government are improving breeding practices and ensuring responsible pet ownership in a number of ways:

  • In 2018 the NSW Government provided about $1 million to RSPCA NSW as part of a four year agreement to carry out education and capital works, and also enforce the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 (POCTA Act).
  • We want to ensure penalties included in POCTA Act present a strong deterrent, so we are reviewing them against other states and other penalties in NSW.
  • Following the Parliamentary Inquiry into Companion Animal Breeding Practices, the NSW Government invested $200,000 in a joint education campaign to raise awareness of the reality of puppy factories, with a website, advertisements and social media campaign.
  • We are also in the process of reviewing the Standards and Guidelines for breeders of cats and dogs and for animals in pet shops.
  • Changes to the Companion Animals Act 1998 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 to improve identification and promote responsible pet ownership.
  • An improved NSW Pet Registry has been launched, to enhance digital pet registration.

Some other legislative changes are likely later in 2018.

Responsible pet ownership

Information relating to pet ownership is available from the Office of Local Government website. This site provides information on registering, microchipping, breeding and caring for companion animals.

Animal Welfare Companion Animals activities