New law spells major shake-up for dog owners, pet shops

DOG owners and puppy lovers beware, the rules are about to change.

On Friday, May 26 new legislation will come into effect placing heavy restrictions on dog owners and the sale of puppies.

It means anyone who plans to breed their dog, even once, will have to register as a breeder if they intend to sell, give away or advertise the puppies in any way.

It applies to puppies born after May 26.

There is no fee to register puppies.

Legitimate working dogs will be the only exception, along with animals surrendered to shelters, and heavy penalties will apply to rule breakers.

Those who fail to follow the new rules, and are caught, could be fined up to $6095 as the State Government attempts to stamp out backyard breeders and puppy farms.

Ipswich West Pet and Aquarium owner Dean Peske said many people who bought puppies planned to breed them once, then sell the puppies back to the pet shop.

But under the new legislation, the puppies can't legally be sold unless a valid registered breeder's details are displayed alongside the animal.

>>Register here

Mr Peske, who does sell puppies at his shop but feels passionately about stamping out dodgy breeders, says the new legislation will take away a lot of the guess work.

"We don't sell that many puppies but when we do have people call up we always ask multiple questions, including if we can come out and see the dogs at the property," Mr Peske said.

"If people say no, then we leave them alone straight away."

Dean Teske from Ipswich Pet and Aquarium.
Dean Teske from Ipswich Pet and Aquarium. Rob Williams

The Protecting Puppies legislation passed the Parliament in May last year and will take effect this year from May 26 and applies to all dogs born on or after this date.

The law requires anyone giving away, supplying, selling or advertising dogs or puppies must have a supply number that identifies the breeder of that specific animal.

Those details will be held on a new register, the Queensland Dog Breeder Register.

RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty said the new legislation was unlikely to fix the problem of puppy farms but was a step in the right direction.

"Hopefully it will put a stop to all the online ads," Mr Beatty said.

The Agriculture Department says there will be a three month period where penalties will only be dished out to repeat offenders as the department focuses on an education campaign.  

The new rules;

  • Those selling and supplying dogs must have a valid breeder's number attached to the animal
  • That number must be displayed alongside the dog being offered for sale
  • Anyone who breeds then wants to sell, give away, advertise puppies or dogs must register
  • Dogs and cats must be fitted with a microchip linked to up-to-date contact details
  • Dogs and puppies can still be surrendered to shelters without having to register

The penalties;

  • Failing to register as a dog breeder (maximum penalty - $6,095)
  • Not updating changes to registration details(maximum penalty - $2,438)
  • Not micro-chipping a dog (maximum penalty - $2,438)
  • Not providing a valid supply number when supplying or advertising a dog (maximum penalty - $6,095)

Read the legislation here.

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