Strict New Laws When Giving Away Or Selling Animals In Effect Today

Cats and dogs being sold or given away in New South Wales must include an identification number under new laws introduced on July 1.

Any advertisement for an animal must include the number, which will help buyers find more information about the animal before purchase.

The identification number can be a microchip number, a breeder identification number or a rehoming organisation number.

Providing the number to possible buyers means they are able to read about the animals' history and possible medical requirements. This aims to guarantee the animal's welfare by ensuring new owners can cater to its needs.

READ MORE: Guide Dogs and Melbourne Zoo Harness Technology To Increase Accessibility

"A microchip number search will provide you with information about what the owner has recorded as the breed, sex and age of the cat or dog, whether it is desexed and whether or not it is already registered," the Animal Welfare League NSW website reads.

New animal advertising laws come into effect on July 1. Photo: Getty Images

A breeder number search will display any record of business names so buyers can do their research about where the animal came from.

People looking to purchase a new animal from July 1 can search the identification number provided with an advertisement at the NSW Pet Registry website to confirm the number is valid.

The new law applies regardless of whether the animal is being sold or given away for free. It also applies irrespective of the age of the animal, the place it's advertised, whether or not the animal was bred by the seller or not or if the animal has been born yet.

READ MORE: Why I Love And Hate My Rescue Dogs

All animals are required to be registered in NSW by the time they are six months old. Owners can register their cat or dog at the NSW Pet Registry or Service NSW websites.

There is already a law in NSW requiring all animals to be microchipped before changing hands, but these additional measures are now compulsory. Failure to comply could see sellers slapped with a maximum $5,500 fine.

The laws on what's required when selling an animal vary from state to state. See how yours measures up below.

Law when selling an animal vary from state to state. Photo: Getty Images

All dogs in Queensland must be registered with the local council before they are 12 weeks old and within 14 days of moving to a new council area. Each local council will have its own preference on whether cats need to be registered.

All dogs and cats born after 10 April 2009 must be microchipped before they are sold or given away.


From July 1, 2019, any person or business who is advertising to sell or give away a dog or cat must be enrolled on the Pet Exchange Register. Any advertisement for cat or dog sale must include the animal's microchip number and source number generated by the registry.

Failure to provide a microchip number could see seller slapped with a $600 fine.


All dogs over the age of six months must be registered with the owner's local council and registrations should be renewed each year before the 30th of June. All dogs are also required to wear a collar with their registration disc attached unless they are being used to drive cattle.

Laws also vary depending on animal type. Photo: Getty Images.

Any dog over the age of six months is also legally required to have a microchip.

Dogs cannot be rehomed in Tasmania unless their health has been checked by a veterinary professional and a seller must provide buyers with a vaccination certificate for the dog.

South Australia

All dogs and cats must be microchipped by three months of age.

All breeders selling cats and dogs must include a Breeder Registration Number obtained when they complete registration with the  Dog and Cat Management Board.

Western Australia

An owner is legally required to register their animal with the local government once it's three months old. A dog must also be microchipped by this age. A dog cannot be sold if it's not microchipped and this information is not passed on to the new owner.

New owners are required to notify their local council if a dog has changed ownership. Failure to do this carries a $5,000 fine.

All dogs and cats must be microchipped by three months of age in South Australia. Photo: Getty Images.
Northern Territory

Dog owners have one month to register their dog with their local council in the top end. Dogs and other animals can be registered at City of Darwin Civic Centre and website and all registrations must be renewed each year by June 30.

A dog must also wear its official dog tag once it's registered and these details must be passed on to any new owner.

Only Darwin and Alice Springs local councils require cats to be registered.

Contact Siobhan at