What Does Victoria's New Pet Exchange Register Do?

Home   >   Latest News   |   19 Aug 2019

As a part of Victoria’s new and historic puppy farm and pet shop legislation, from 1 July 2019 it became an offence to advertise a dog or cat for sale or to give away unless the advertisement includes the animal’s microchip number and a source number generated by the Pet Exchange Register.

The Pet Exchange Register is an online database where individuals and businesses can register for a source number. Most importantly it improves the traceability of dogs and cats in Victoria.

The Pet Exchange Register is a new and added layer of protection to existing requirements, meaning it is still compulsory for all cats and dogs in Victoria to be microchipped prior tobeing sold or given away and for that microchip number to be included in the advertisement - alongside their Pet Exchange Register source number.

Victorians getting a new dog or cat are encouraged to check the validity of a seller on the Pet Exchange Register before they bring their new friend home. This will help crack down on puppy farmers that hide behind glossy websites claiming to be ethical and reputable. It also exposes the link between puppy farmers and brokers who sell dogs for them away from site, as both the ‘breeder’ and the seller must register - creating a distinguishable link.

Under the new legislation, the offence of publishing an advertisement without a valid microchip number and a source number applies to not just the seller, but also those publishing non-compliant advertisements. This means it is an offence for sites like Gumtree and Trading Post to allow Victorian advertisements without a source number from the Pet Exchange Register. Web-sellers that don’t comply will be given infringement notices for non-compliant ads with the possibility of prosecution for repeat offenders. Anyone can report a non-compliant advertisement to the enforcement team online.

We look forward to analysing the effectiveness of the Pet Exchange Register and making recommendations on how it can be improved as it continues to roll out. Given we were successful in achieving a ban on the sale of puppies and kittens in Victorian pet shops, tackling unscrupulous online sales is another important step to breaking the cruel puppy trade.

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