2013 News

For Information: Victorian Code of Practice for the Operation of Breeding and Rearing Businesses

Date: 18th December

Work Group: Pets & Companion Animals


The Victorian Minister for Agriculture and Food Security has now released the Code of Practice for the Operation of Breeding and Rearing Businesses (Revision 1).

The revised code takes into account feedback from the 23,350 submissions from both rounds of consultation as well as the comments from key stakeholders and working groups that developed the draft documents and will commence on  11 April 2014 in line with the council registration year.

The new Victorian Code is now available on line at http://www.depi.vic.gov.au/pets/domestic-animal-businesses/breeding-and-rearing-businesses/breeding-and-rearing-code-review.

The Revised Victorian Code has been developed into 6 individual booklets to suit the end user:
1.        Complete Code (comprising the full legislation)
2.        Large business – dog breeder (for businesses with 6 or more fertile dogs)
3.        Small business – dog breeder (for businesses with 3-5 fertile dogs)
4.        Large business – cat breeder (for businesses with 6 or more fertile cats)
5.        Small business – cat breeder (for businesses with 3-5 fertile cats)
6.        Working and guardian dog breeding businesses (for businesses with 3 or more fertile working/guardian dogs)

The new Victorian code offers significant improvements for animal management and welfare, it ensures a holistic approach to health and breeding management, and ensures every animal is treated as an individual.

The Revised Victorian Code provides a strong stance on:

• record keeping to ensure traceability and consumer protection; and to aid in the management of animal health and welfare
• breeding limits to enable dogs to be easily rehoused
• minimum staffing levels- to ensure minimum standards of care and animal welfare
• minimum requirements for exercise, enrichment, socialisation and handling- in recognition that these elements speak directly to the suitability of animals as pets/ working dogs and provide innumerable animal welfare benefits
• veterinary care – every dog and cat will see a veterinarian at least once per year and prior to sale; and no dog or cat will be bred without assurances from a veterinarian that they are physically sound to be bred.

The Revised Victorian Code is the only code that recognises that health care requirements and general management differ between breeds and user end points (such as pets or working and guardian dogs) and provides a framework for flexibility in management and health care structures through the business health management plan. The code offers consumers a level of protection they are unable to obtain in any other state in Australia.

All businesses must be fully compliant will all relevant aspects of the revised code by the commencement date. Councils may register or renew a Domestic Animal Business with any condition or limitation on the registration, for businesses requiring facilities upgrades/structural changes for a period of up to 12 months from 11 April 2014.

Councils and registered Domestic Animal Businesses owners will be invited to attend training seminars in February 2014 to introduce the new code and a wealth of tools, templates and a breeder training course are all available free on the website  http://www.depi.vic.gov.au/pets/domestic-animal-businesses/breeding-and-rearing-businesses/breeding-and-rearing-code-review

Hard copy booklets can be obtained from the DEPI Information Centre by visiting, calling or emailing the Information Centre.

Information Centre contact details
Open: 9.30am to 4.00pm, Monday to Friday.
Phone: 03 9658 4440
Fax: 03 9658 4760
Email: information.centre@depi.vic.gov.au
Street address: Level 16, 1 Spring St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Postal address: GPO Box 4440, Melbourne VIC 3001

If you have any questions about the revised code, please email animal.welfare@depi.vic.gov.au.