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NSW State Legislation
Each person, who resides in NSW upon signing an application for membership or renewal of membership of the MDBA shall agree to comply with NSW State and Local Government Legislation, Regulations and Codes of Practice applying to the welfare, keeping, breeding, management and sales of dogs.
1. All NSW MDBA members are required to investigate their legal responsibilities under Local Laws within their own Council Municipality when owning and breeding dogs. This must be kept in an easily accessible file for future reference if sighting is required by the MDBA.
2. All NSW MDBA Breeder members must have information from their local councils on: planning permits required for use of premises for dog breeding in their council area.
3. All NSW MDBA members must acquire all the requisite Planning Permits and Licenses to enable them to pursue their hobby of owning and breeding dogs in compliance with the MDBA Code of Ethics.
4. All NSW MDBA members must register and microchip dogs over three months of age with the local council in which they reside.
5. All NSW MDBA Dog owners must comply with the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1979)
6. Under the Act, standards and guidelines for the care of breeding dogs the following Codes:
- Animal Welfare Code of Practice – Breeding dogs and cats (PDF, 468.15 KB)
- The Companion Animals Act (1998)
The minimum Standards are those in the NSW code of practice for the private keeping of dogs and the code of practice for breeding dogs, and must be maintained by NSW MDBA members.
PLEASE NOTE THAT NSW MDBA MEMBERS ARE ALL REQUIRED TO COMPLY WITH THE MINIMUM STANDARDS, WITHIN THE NSW GOVERNMENT'S CODE OF PRACTICE BUT ARE ALWAYS ENCOURAGED TO EXCEED THEM, IN STRIVING TOWARDS BEST PRACTICE.
Accommodation / Housing
1. Design, construct, service and maintain housing pens in a way that prevents escape and ensures the good health and wellbeing of the animals, while avoiding injury to humans.
2. House and confine animals in a safe and secure manner.
3. Provide housing and equipment suitable for the size of the animal and containment requirements.
4. Provide adequate protection from adverse environmental conditions and climatic extremes.
5. Provide adequate ventilation and sufficient space for animals to stand and move freely at all times, including during transportation.
6. Ensure no part of a pen/cage floor area is made from wire.
7. Ensure pens/cages are not stacked on top of one another.
1. Provide protection from disease, distress and injury.
2. Provide prompt veterinary treatment in the case of animal injury or illness.
3. Maintain cleanliness and hygiene in premises where animals are kept.
4. Make every effort to control pests such as fleas, ticks, etc.
5. Treat animals regularly for internal and external parasites and vaccinate against common diseases.
6. Provide sufficient exercise to maintain health and fitness.
7. Provide appropriate food and water in clean containers to maintain good health.
8. Ensure animals have access to water of sufficient quantity and quality.
9. Provide animals with a safe, balanced and complete diet.
Banned procedures (tail docking, ear cropping, dog debarking)
1. Disallow prohibited procedures from being conducted on an animal they own or are in charge of.
2. Refrain from allowing an animal they own or are in charge of from being shown or exhibited if it has had a prohibited procedure conducted on it.
1. Ensure only healthy animals are bred, and then only as required.
2. Maintain proper records of their breeding activities and ensure such records are available for inspection upon request by any person authorised by the organisation.
1. Refrain from using prohibited collars incorporating protrusions designed to puncture or bruise the animal's skin.
2. Ensure electronic collars are only used as specified under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2008.
Dog working & environmental conditions
1. Ensure dogs are not pushed beyond their natural abilities by administering drugs or medications to enhance performance.
2. Ensure dogs are not to be worked in conditions that may result in them suffering from hypothermia, hyperthermia or dehydration.
1. Ensure dogs are not trained or worked beyond their willingness and capabilities.
2. Ensure all training methods used are humane and not cause undue fear, distress or pain.
Domestic Animal Businesses
Register as a domestic animal business, as required¸ within the local council in which the business premises is located.
1. Humanely deal with animals that cannot be kept.
2. Ensure animals that must be destroyed are killed in a humane manner.
3. Ensure animals are not euthanised using blunt force trauma.
1. Take legitimate action reduce the incidence of hereditary diseases.
2. Be familiar with and comply with the mandatory Code of Practice for the Breeding of Animals with Heritable Defects that Cause Disease.
Sale of animals
1. Ensure no animal leaves the seller before 8 weeks of age.
2. Ensure dogs and cats sold or given away are implanted with a microchip by an authorised implanter and accompanied by a signed transfer of ownership form.
3. Ensure dog and cat advertisements for sale or for free, include each animals' full microchip number and the number of the council registered domestic animal business.
4. Ensure dogs and cats sold have current vaccinations, with a valid certificate to be provided to new owner.
5. Provide purchasers of desexed animals with a copy of the desexing certificate.
6. Provide new owners with literature about feeding, desexing, parasite control, health, housing, responsible pet ownership, current legislation regarding registration, training & socialisation of dogs, vaccination.
7. Ensure all dogs and cats sold are accompanied with a breeder health declaration.
8. If within 3 days a dog is not acceptable to the purchaser for any reason, the breeder is required to take the dog back and refund 50% of the purchase price of the animal. This guarantee must be provided in writing to the purchaser at the point of sale.
9. Ensure animals are sold or given away are in the best possible state of health.
10. Prohibit animals from being used as donations or prizes.
1. Only tether dogs in accordance with the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979, Regulations and Code of Practice for the Tethering of Animals.
2. Limit the risk of tangling and prevent overlap of adjacent chains in dog tethering systems.
3. Refrain from tethering pregnant bitches that are more than seven weeks gestation, whelping bitches and lactating bitches with puppies.
4. Ensure puppies under 16 weeks of age are not tethered.
1. Transport animals in a safe and secure manner.
2. Refrain from transporting animals in the boot of a sedan type car.
3. Appropriately tether or cage animals when on the back of a ute or trailer.
4. Provide animals with adequate ventilation when travelling.
5. Have multiple ventilation holes on at least three sides of sealed transport containers.
To allow traceability of sellers of pets, it is an offence in NSW to advertise the sale of a dog unless people advertising puppies or dogs for sale or to give away have an identification number in advertisements.
The identification number can be:
- A microchip number, OR
- A breeder identification number, [MDBA Member Number]
Breeder Identification Number:
Breeder identification numbers are free and available to dog breeders online through the NSW Pet Registry.
New breeder identification numbers will be issued by the NSW Pet Registry to new owners who identify as breeders. This must happen before an animal is sold or given away.
Dog breeders who are members of the MDBA which is a recognised breeding body in NSW, are also able to use their member number as a breeder identification number.
The advertising requirement applies to all advertisements, including those in newspapers, local posters, community notice boards and all forms of online advertising, including public advertisements on websites such as the Trading Post, Gumtree and social media sites.
It is an offence if a person does not use an identification number in an advertisement. It is also an offence to falsify a number.
Sellers can be issued an on-the-spot fine by an enforcement officer of $330 if they do not include an identification number in an advertisement.
Failure to display an identification number, or falsification of a number can also carry a maximum penalty of $5,500 in court. The State laws governing the sale of dogs and puppies are explained on the NSW Department of Primary Industries Website.
The taking of deposits on dogs/puppies secures the right of the buyer to purchase a chosen dog/puppy. Buyers MUST be made aware in writing of the breeder's policy on deposit refunds at the time of making their booking.
Should the business/breeder for any reason be unable or unwilling to continue with a sale, the deposit must be returned in full if there is no dog/or puppy of comparable quality available which would suit the requirements of the buyer.
Should the buyer wish to withdraw from the arrangement the deposit should be returned in full if the cancellation takes place up to six weeks before the agreed collection date. The portion of the deposit refunded between 6 and 2 weeks prior to the collection date may diminish, and should cancellation take place after the dog/puppy has been desexed for the buyer, or within two weeks prior to the collection date, no refund need be made.
A booking fee is where the buyer is placed in a queue to select and purchase a puppy, or to be advised of puppies becoming available to purchase within a reasonable time. The buyer must be advised in writing as to how long they should expect to wait before a pup is available and when their booking fee will be refunded if a puppy does not become available within the stated time period before their payment is accepted. If a time period is not stated the breeder must fulfil their obligation to provide a puppy within 6 months from time of acceptance of booking fee or be prepared to refund the booking fee in full.
Under NSW Legislation where a dog/puppy is returned to the breeder within 3 days of sale for any reason not supported by a statement from a veterinary practitioner, the breeder MUST take back the animal and refund 50% of the purchase price.
Under NSW Legislation it is RECOMMENDED that If within 7 days a dog or cat is not acceptable to the purchaser due to health reasons, excluding injury, and the complaint is supported by a veterinary practitioner, the breeder and the owner should negotiate in good faith to achieve an equitable outcome.