New Laws to Stamp Out Puppy Farms

Legislation Queensland Law Breeder Legislation Posted May 19, 2021
If you’re a dog owner, new legislation from the Queensland Government now applies to all dogs born in Queensland from May 26, 2017.
While most of us put our pets first, some unethical breeders put profit before animal welfare. These new laws will attempt to stamp out cruel puppy farm operations. The new system represents protection for everyone: responsible breeders will be recognised and new puppy owners can feel confident about the dog they are purchasing.
What are puppy farms?

It has been known for many years that puppy farms operate in Queensland. Our Inspectorate has seen firsthand the awful living conditions and health issues for dogs caught up in this tragic life and seized many pets over the years. Dogs forced to live and breed in such places endure a life of misery and degradation. The health and wellbeing of both breeding dogs and puppies are certainly put last in these operations.

While being aware that such hellish places exist, the RSPCA and Biosecurity Inspectors can have difficulty locating puppy farm operations without community insight. 

Sadly those searching for pets online can have blinkers on, only seeing cute pictures of puppies, not the suffering behind the scenes. 

What does this Breeder registration mean for me?

Action to stop puppy farms has been long overdue! The Queensland Government stepped up and has now established the new Queensland Dog Breeder Register to help authorities locate dog breeders and give dog buyers peace of mind when shopping for furry family members.

Now, every puppy born from May 26, 2017 must be registered.  

Registration is an easy online process. Dog owners will have up to 28 days after a litter is born to register their dog so surprise arrivals can still be handled legally. Their dog will receive a unique Breeder Identification Number (BIN) which will be recorded on all the pup’s microchips.

Breeders of genuine working dogs are exempt from the scheme. Working dogs must be owned by a primary producer, live on rural land and be used for work such as droving, tending, working stock or be in training for those jobs.

If you’re a member of an industry organisation that accredits dog breeders such as Dogs Queensland, then your membership number may also be your supply number and you may not need to register. However this organisation must be approved by the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries – check with your member organisation. 

As a buyer, what do I need to look for?

The law states that any advertisement for puppies must include their supply number (BIN) whether they are being given away or sold. It is an offence under the new Act not to include this number. Newspapers and websites can be prosecuted if they allow ads to appear without the registration number. You will notice on the RSPCA website our supplier ID will be listed to those applicable pets that we rehome.

If you’re looking to buy a puppy, you should only obtain one from a registered breeder – look for the new supplier number! In this way, puppy farms will have nowhere and no way to sell pups. Even pups sold through pet shops must display this supply number so where the dog was bred can be identified and traced.

Potential new owners can visit for more information and to check supply numbers associated with puppies for sale born after May 26. If anomalies are discovered these should be reported. Any concerns about animal welfare can be reported to RSPCA Queensland and Biosecurity Queensland.

For more information about finding the right puppy for you, learn more in our Smart Puppy Buyers Guide.

Dr Mandy Paterson
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