More than 1000 shady online advertisements for cats and dogs have been detected in the first year of  new pet registry laws.
More than 1000 shady online advertisements for cats and dogs have been detected in the first year of new pet registry laws.

Major crack down of dodgy backyard pet dealers

UP to 20 dodgy advertisements for pets were detected every week during the first year of operation of Victoria's Pet Exchange Registry laws.

In a move aimed to crack down on backyard dealers and unscrupulous practices, anyone selling a pet now needs a source number from the register.

In the 12 months since the register began, more than 11,000 source numbers were issued.

But more than 1000 complaints were received in relation to ads placed on online sites such as Gumtree and Trading Post.

A spokesman for Animal Welfare Victoria said the current approach promoted education in the first instance, but laws were available for enforcement against repeat offences or fraudulent use of source and microchip numbers.

"The register is 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,'' the spokesman said.

A dog or cat can only be offered for sale if the advertisement includes the animal's microchip number and a source number generated by the Pet Exchange Register.

The laws aim to weed out backyard dealing and unscrupulous dealing.
The laws aim to weed out backyard dealing and unscrupulous dealing.

A reminder of the regulations was issued to 40 advertisers and 16 publishers. But official warnings were served on six advertisers and two publishers for repeat offences.

Animal Welfare Victoria also audited 1300 advertisements with more than 200 failing the new regulations.

The laws which began on July 1, 2019, had the backing of the animal welfare groups including the RSPCA as well as the Australian Veterinary Association.

The move for a traceable source number enabled buyers to know the origins of the 50,000-60,000 puppies in Victoria each year.

ian.royall@news.com.au

@IanRoyall

Originally published as Major crack down of dodgy backyard pet dealers