News

Shepparton animal shelter compliant with Victorian pet exchange register

By Madeleine Caccianiga

Victorians can now access a new pet’s ownership history through the Victorian Government’s pet exchange register.

From this week, all advertisements of dogs, cats, puppies and kittens for sale or free rehoming must include a source number, linked to a person, breeder, business, rescue group, foster network or shelter.

Greater Shepparton City Council citizen services manager Laurienne Winbanks said the Shepparton animal shelter was compliant with the new requirements.

Ms Winbanks said the shelter’s source number would be included in all advertisements for animals up for adoption.

‘‘The source number identifies who is selling/rehoming/giving away the animal and makes it easier to trace the origin of our domestic animals,’’ she said.

For the shelter specifically, Ms Winbanks said animals rehomed from the service would only require the current source number.

‘‘The source code can be researched and found by the public, so they can then make better informed decisions about where and who they are sourcing their next family pet from,’’ she said.

The launch of the register builds on the Victorian Government’s ‘puppy farm’ legislation.

‘‘The buyer can make an informed decision by checking the source code themselves and it does allow appropriate agencies to monitor unusual or excessive advertising activity,’’ Ms Winbanks said.

Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes said the new system would make it easier to detect and crack down on illegal puppy farms.

‘‘We know that Victorians really care about the welfare of their pets — that’s why we’re making animal breeding more transparent, and making it easier to find out and shut down those who are doing the wrong thing,’’ she said.

She said all Victorians were encouraged to check the register and validate the source number before buying or adopting a new pet.

‘‘It’s all about helping pet owners know where their new family member is coming from and giving Victorians peace of mind that they’re not propping up backyard breeders and dodgy pet shops,’’ Ms Symes said.

For information, to enrol or to report concern about a pet advertisement, visit per.animalwelfare.vic.gov.au