Vets welcome new Pet Exchange Register in Victoria

19 Dec 2017

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) has welcomed some aspects of the new Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farms and Pet Shops) Bill 2016, which was passed in Victoria last week.

AVA President, Dr. Paula Parker, said that the AVA welcomes the Victorian Government’s efforts to improve animal welfare through this Bill and is pleased that a key recommendation made by the AVA has been incorporated.

“Victoria already has high-quality animal welfare codes of practice for breeders, but traceability, compliance and enforcement issues needed addressing.

“At the Parliamentary Inquiry in November last year, the AVA recommended that the government establish a breeder register, regardless of the number of dogs bred, much like what was introduced in Queensland earlier this year, to promote responsible dog breeding. This also ensures the traceability of all pups and holds everyone accountable.

“We are pleased to see that this Bill now has a Pet Exchange Register for both cats and dogs. It means that anyone advertising a cat or a dog for sale or anyone who is giving away a cat or dog will be required to enrol on the Register and obtain a source number which will be linked to the microchip of that animal.

“We are optimistic that the traceability of cats and dogs will be improved by the Pet Exchange Register. The key now is for the government to commit to providing additional resources to ensure that the legislation will be enforced,” Dr. Parker said.

The AVA is not supportive of some of the other changes that were made in the legislation.  

"The new Bill will include limiting the number of fertile dogs any breeder can keep even though there is no scientific evidence that indicates that welfare is dictated by the number of breeding bitches a breeder has.

"We are also very concerned that not allowing pet shops to sell puppies will only push the sales of these puppies underground.

"While we welcome the Victorian government’s efforts to improve animal welfare through this Bill, we want to make sure there are still no unintended consequences in relation to animal welfare,” Dr. Parker said.

For further information about the Bill visit:

Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farms and Pet Shops) Bill 2016

For further information and requests for interviews contact the AVA media office on 0439 628 898 or

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is the only national association representing veterinarians in Australia. Founded in 1921, the AVA today represents 9000 members working in all areas of animal science, health, and welfare.