DCMB Standards for South Australian Breeders

DCMB Standards effective 1st August 2017



Standards are the minimum requirements that must be met under animal welfare law. Standards use the word ‘must’ and have legal effect in two ways:

  • failure to meet a standard may result in an expiation notice or a prosecution under the Animal Welfare Regulations 2012

  • in more serious cases, failure to meet a standard may support a prosecution for an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 1985.


Guidelines are the recommended practices to achieve desirable animal welfare outcomes. A guideline is usually a higher standard of care than a minimum standard, or may provide recommendations on how to comply with a standard. Guidelines are also used to promote or encourage better care for animals than is required by a minimum standard and in circumstances for which an assessable standard is difficult to establish. Guidelines use the word ‘should’ and are designed to complement the standards. Non-compliance with one or more guidelines does not constitute an offence under law.

What it means

These standards and guidelines complement the Animal Welfare Act 1985 by clarifying terms such as ‘reasonable’, ‘appropriate’ and ‘adequate’. The standards are the minimum requirements that must be met under animal welfare law. They must be observed by:

  • the owner(s) of any dog that is bred or traded irrespective of:

    (i) whether the activity is in private or in public; or

         (ii) whether the dog is being held short or long term.


These standards and guidelines do not apply in any way to:

  1. animals that are given away.

And in relation to dogs the standards and guidelines do not apply in any way to:

  • a person who finds a stray dog or litter of puppies on their property and, abiding by lawful processes:

    1. takes ownership of the animal and does not subsequently breed it, or

    2. euthanizes it, or

    3. transfers it to a council or other person(s) or entity, or

    4. takes it to a pound or shelter.

  • a person who rehomes their dog as a once-off event because they can no longer keep it.

  • a council which gives a dog to a shelter or person as an unfettered gift.

General defence

A general defence applies to the standards contained in this document. To be applicable, the defendant must establish that his or her failure to comply:

  1. was the result of acting on advice from a veterinarian, or the owner or an assistant reasonably considers that the non-compliance:

  2. was in the welfare interests of the animal, or

  3. was in the interests of other animals or

  4. was necessary for workplace health and safety or public safety reasons.


House dog means a dog which has unfettered access to one or more rooms of the breeder’s bona-fide residence for at least fourteen hours per day.

Yard dog refers to a dog which has unfettered access to a yard in which they can run freely for at least eight hours per day but does not have regular access to the owner’s residence.

Large facility means a facility with six or more pregnant or lactating dogs and/or cats at any one time or a facility which holds 30 or more dogs and/or cats at any one time.

Small facility means a facility with five or less pregnant or lactating dogs and/or cats at any one time or one which holds 29 or less dogs and/or cats at any one time.

Colour guide:

Standards that apply to specific groups (Shops and Public Venues, Large Facilities, Small Facilities) are written in text that is colour coded specifically for that group or groups. Those that apply to all groups remain in default black text.


Green: Shops and/or Public Venues

Orange: Large Facilities, Shops and/or Public Venues

Yellow: Large Facilities

Purple: Large Facilities and Small Facilities (excluding shops)

Blue: Small Facilities (excluding shops)



Responsibilities and Competencies of Owners and Assistants

General Requirements:


  • The owner must be responsible for the animals in their care. The owner must ensure that the standards in this document are met and that assistants are aware of their obligations in accordance with these standards.

  • Assistants must work under the supervision of the owner. The owner must have sufficient assistants to meet these standards and ensure the welfare of the animals being kept.

  • Each day, a person must be in attendance with sufficient frequency to meet the requirements of these standards, and must be knowledgeable and competent to provide for the animals’ care and welfare.

  • Owners who operate from shops or large facilities must ensure that:

  1. (a) at least one person with sufficient demonstrable knowledge and experience in the care of animals kept or who has completed successfully an appropriate course of training, is on site whilst the facility is open to the public.
  2. (b) all assistants must be fully instructed and competent in appropriate methods of safeguarding the health, safety and welfare of animals including but not limited to:
  • the feeding and watering of animals

  • the protection of animals from distress or injury caused by other animals or interference by people

  • cleaning and ensuring proper hygiene in the facility where the animals are kept.


Emergency Management


  • Appropriate working fire-fighting equipment must be available commensurate with the size and nature of the facility and at least one person must contactable who is trained and practiced in its use (AS 2444).

  • If operating a large facility or shop the owner must ensure that:

  1. (a) an effective emergency management plan is in place, including provision for the swift removal of animals from the site (if necessary and if practical) in the event of emergencies such as fire, flood, power blackouts etc.
  2. (b) at least one person with sufficient demonstrable knowledge and experience in the care of animals kept, or who has completed successfully an appropriate course of training, is available after hours in case of emergency.
  • If operating a small facility, other than a shop, the owner must have a procedure for the swift removal of animals from the facility, in the case of emergency (if necessary and if practical).

  • If operating from a shop, the owner must ensure that smoke alarms are fitted in accordance with AS 3786 Smoke Alarms Using Scattered Light, Transmitted Light or Ionisation.


Record Keeping


  • For the purpose of these standards, records (including programs, plans and procedures) may be either paper-based or in electronic form or both.

    Records required by standard must be retained for no less than two years after the death or disposal of the animal. The seller must be able to produce the records at the request of an inspector under the Animal Welfare Act 1985. Records relevant to the health and welfare of animals being held must be accessible by assistants. This standard comes into effect on the date this document is regulated. Records commence from that date (not retrospectively).

  • Sellers must be able to produce a record of the following:

  1. (a) for each dog in their possession, to the best of their knowledge and in a manner that is commensurate with the size of the enterprise:
  • sex (including whether desexed)

  • species and breed

  • colour

  • microchip number

  • distinguishing features

  • any special medical and dietary requirements

  • the name of the animal (if named)

  • the history of the animal (as far as possible) which includes:

  • date of birth

  • the date of acquisition/transfer to the current owner

  • vaccination status

  • details of preventative and veterinary treatment, for example routine husbandry procedures such as worming or parasite control

  • details of medical history

  • any genetic or other health testing undertaken

  • the date of disposal/transfer to the client

  • if the animal is leased or on consignment:

    • the name, address and telephone number of the person from whom the animal is leased or consigned

    • the name and telephone number of the veterinarian who normally attends the animal (if requested by the person from whom the animal is being leased or consigned).

  1. (b) for each dog litter bred:
  • the name and microchip number of both the dam and sire (if known)

  • the date of mating (if known)

  • the date of birth

  • the number of puppies or kittens in the litter

  • identification details for each surviving animal within the litter.

  1. (c) records of the information required to be given to buyers under Section 71 of the Dog and Cat Management Act 19952.


Animal Facilities and Accommodation


Facility design and structure

  • All facilities must be designed, constructed and maintained in a way that:

  • provides for the good health and well-being of the animals

  • minimises the risk of the transmission of infectious diseases

  • minimises the risk of escape or theft of animals

  • minimises the risk of injury to animals and people.

  • Sufficient lighting must be available in the facility to enable the proper inspection of animals.

  • All facilities must have a clean and adequate water supply, sufficient to meet the daily requirements of the animals.

  • Incompatible animals must be sufficiently separated or otherwise isolated to minimise stress.


  • Enclosures must be designed and maintained to meet the health, physical and behavioural requirements of the species held.

  • Enclosures must provide protection from rain and wind, direct sunlight or other adverse or extreme weather conditions.

  • Aggressive, sick and injured animals must be housed in a manner that minimises risks to themselves, other animals or the public; and protects them from other animals and people.

  • Outdoor enclosures must have solid sides and a roof constructed to provide protection from sun, wind and rain over a sufficient proportion of the enclosure to allow the animal to avoid inclement weather (guardian dogs do not require a purpose built enclosure).

  • Purpose built enclosures must be constructed of materials that are durable, non-toxic and easily cleaned.

  • Animals kept either in groups or individually must have space to feed, sleep, sit, stand, lie with limbs extended, stretch and move about and undertake a range of natural behaviours.

  • Animals must be provided with hygienic sleeping areas appropriate to their species.

  • An electronic shock collar must not be placed on an animal to confine it.


  • Tethers must not cause distress, injury or discomfort to any animal; must only be used when reasonably required and must be appropriate for the species and age of the animal.

Isolation facilities

  • There must be an area provided at the facility or at another location, which could include at a veterinary hospital, where animals can be kept in isolation.

  • Owners who operate from large facilities housing dogs, other than shops, must have documented and demonstrable biosecurity measures in place prior to use.

  • A cat isolation facility must be a sufficient distance, or otherwise isolated, from dog housing to minimise the stress created by the sight or sound of dogs.

Harmful substances

  • All potential poisons and harmful substances, whether in storage or in use, must be kept out of reach of animals.


Accommodation of Dogs


  • Dogs must be able to shelter from rain and wind, direct sunlight or other adverse or extreme weather conditions.

  • Dogs must be provided with clean, dry, sleeping areas. The sleeping areas must provide sufficient protection from sun, wind and rain to allow the animal to avoid inclement weather. For guardian dogs, this may be a natural shelter.

Newly acquired dogs not bred by the seller

  • Enclosures must be thoroughly cleaned and decontaminated after the removal of dogs and before placing newly acquired animals in them.

  • Newly acquired dogs must not be mixed with existing animals until they have been health checked by a person such as a veterinarian, veterinary nurse or experienced animal attendant.

  • If newly acquired dogs are housed with existing animals they must be monitored. If bullying or attacking occurs, the newly acquired animals must be housed separately.

  • Puppies must not be kept in isolation where any practical alternative is available.

Housing of dogs

  • Dogs must:

  1. be provided with sleeping areas that have clean, hygienic, dry bedding, appropriate to the species and breed, sufficient for the number of animals held, and sufficient to insulate them from the floor unless there is a compelling reason not to do so (for example, it may be impractical to provide bedding for a guardian dog. Some dogs will either not tolerate or not use bedding if it is provided.).

  2. not be in extended contact with wet floors.

  3. not be kept exclusively on wire flooring or bare concrete.

  4. be provided with a floor area of at least 0.75 square metres if held in an enclosure other than a transport crate.

  • An electronic shock barking collar must not be placed on a dog to reduce or eliminate barking.

  • Noise from barking dogs must be managed to comply with noise regulations and workplace health and safety requirements.

Dog housing

  • Dogs, other than guardian dogs, must be sufficiently contained to ensure that they do not wander at large.

  • Kennels, other than those for working livestock dogs housed in elevated kennels, must meet the minimum sizes shown in Table 1.

  • Elevated working livestock dog kennels must have a minimum width floor space of 2 square metres and must have an internal height of at least 95 cms over at least two thirds of the length and must minimise the risk of escape.

  • The sleeping compartment provided for kennel dogs, yard dogs and livestock working dogs must be of sufficient size for each dog to simultaneously lie down, turn around and fully stretch.

  • Unless being transported, dogs must not be confined to a transport crate for more than eight hours in any twenty four hour period.

  • Yard dogs must be provided with a sleeping compartment. They are not required to have a run attached to the sleeping compartment. However, the yard must have an area of at least 35 square metres or 3.5 square metres per dog whichever is the greater.

  • House dogs must be provided with a means to escape inclement weather conditions but are not required to have kennels or sleeping compartments.

  • Guardian dogs must be provided with a means to escape inclement weather conditions. This may be natural (e.g. shrubbery, trees etc.) or purpose built. They are not required to have kennels or sleeping compartments.

  • Table 1: Minimum sizes for dog kennels (not including external exercise areas)



                                                              Min height (m)*                    Min width (m)                    Min length (m)                  Min floor area (sq m)**

Puppy/ies (+/– bitch)                                                1.7                                        1.2                                      2.90                                              3.5

1 dog < 40 cm height at shoulder                             1.7                                        0.9                                      1.67                                              1.5

2 dogs < 40 cm height at shoulder                           1.7                                        0.9                                       2.80                                              2.5

1 dog 40–60 cm height at shoulder                          1.7                                        0.9                                       2.67                                              2.4

2 dogs 40–60 cm height at shoulder                        1.7                                        0.9                                        4.00                                              3.6

1 dog > 60 cm height at shoulder                            1.7                                         1.2                                       2.90                                              3.5

2 dogs > 60 cm height at shoulder                          1.7                                         1.2                                        4.30                                              5.2

* This height is to ensure that there is sufficient space to allow the owner and assistants to easily access the kennel

** Minimum floor area includes the sleeping compartment.


Table 3: Summary of accommodation and exercise requirements


                                                                Shop dog                      House dog                       Yard dog                  Kennel dog                  Working dog                 Guardian dog

Kennel                                                               No                                  No                                 No                               Yes                         Elevated                                  No

Run                                                                    No                                  No                                 No                               Yes                                  No                                  No

Sleeping compartment                                      No                                  No                                 Yes                               Yes                                 Yes                                  No

Exercise                                                            Yes                                 Yes                                 Yes                               Yes                                  No                                  No




Stress and handling of animals

  • Animals must be protected, as far as is practicable, against stress or injury of any cause. Animals that may be distressed by the presence of other animals (of the same or a different species) must be housed in a manner that prevents visual contact and minimises or reduces their ability to smell the other animals.

  • Animals that may be distressed by excessive handling or human interference must be placed in an area which limits or removes such interference. It must, however, be recognised that human contact may be important for socialisation (depending on the species) and may be desirable in moderation.

Animals in shops

  • Enclosures must provide protection from strong draughts and be maintained at a temperature and humidity which is conducive to the comfort and well -being of the animals held.

  • Animals must be protected from excessive light at night, including from outside the shop. Any such light must be extinguished or dimmed or other light protection measures must be used (e.g. cage covers or window blinds).

  • The lighting regime must be appropriate to the maintenance of the animals’ well-being (e.g. providing UV light for reptiles). Animals must not be exposed to continuous light or darkness for more than sixteen hours in any twenty four hour period.

  • The duration and intensity of artificial lighting, if used, must be sufficient to allow thorough inspection and observation of animals.

  • Animals must be protected from excessive light that is generated from an external source (e.g. street lights or security flood lights). Lighting should mimic the prevailing natural light cycles.

  • Enclosures must be sufficiently ventilated to maintain the health of the animals, while minimising undue draughts, odours and moisture condensation.

  • Air ventilation devices, if used, must have an air change rate sufficient to distribute fresh air evenly to all animals.




  • The facility must be able to be reasonably secured to prevent access by unauthorised people.

  • Housing, other than that of guardian dogs, must be fitted with a secure closing device that cannot be opened by the animals.

  • The public must not have access to animals unless under the supervision of the owner or an assistant.


Animal Management

Animal Care



  • All equipment that may affect the welfare of the animals held must be designed and maintained to minimise the risk of illness or injury.

Environmental enrichment

  • Animals must receive environmental enrichment, recognising the physiological status and special needs of differing ages and species, to ensure good psychological health. Environmental enrichment includes training and other activities.

Animals kept in isolation

  • Animals in isolation must be kept in a quiet, hygienic area as appropriate for the species. In most instances the following categories of animals must be isolated (either individually or in a compatible group of animals):
  1. animals with dependent young
  2. animals about to give birth

  3. animals in season

  4. sick or injured animals

  5. aggressive animals.

  • The owner or assistants must provide animals that are isolated with additional attention and socialisation as appropriate to the species and individual.


  • Animals must be groomed by brushing or clipping at a frequency which ensures that their health and comfort is maintained.

Identification of dogs

  • The owner must be able to individually identify each dog kept. This may be by recognition, written records, microchipping or external identifiers such as collars and tags or other identifying mechanisms.

Exercise requirements for dogs

  • Dogs held in shops must be exercised according to breed and age, but for a minimum of ten minutes, at least three times daily on days when the establishment is open (i.e. a total of at least 30 minutes) and twice daily on non-trading days (i.e. a total of at least 20 minutes), unless being treated for significant illness or injury. Exercise periods must be reasonably spaced throughout the day.

  • Dogs, other than those held in shops, must have the opportunity to exercise for a minimum of thirty minutes daily, unless being treated for significant illness or injury. This may be access to an exercise area, or by walking, playing, training or work activities. Exercise areas must meet the minimum dimensions specified for yard dogs and yard cats. This does not apply to a working livestock dog that is being rested or to guardian dogs.

  • Unless dogs are known to be compatible they must be supervised while sharing an exercise area and appropriate measures must be implemented to minimise the risk of distress or injury.

  • Dogs must not be exercised in any way which is likely to cause serious injury, for example attached to a moving motor vehicle, or unsupervised on a treadmill.

  • Exercise areas must be wide enough to allow animals to turn freely and, if used to exercise dogs, must be fenced in a manner which prevents escape.

  • The owner of a dog must be aware of the provisions of the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995, including their responsibilities when a dog is in a public place.

Electronic training collars

  • An electronic shock collar must not be placed on an animal to train it.


Food and water


Note: The following requirements also apply to public facilities on non-trading days


  • Animals must be able to reach their food and water containers easily. The equipment must be stable, non-toxic, and of a material and construction which can be cleaned, decontaminated or replaced.

  • Water containers must be positioned to minimise the risk of spillage and faecal contamination.

  • Food and water containers must be cleaned with sufficient frequency to ensure that food and water provided in them is safe and palatable; and must be removed, cleaned and replaced promptly if contaminated by urine, faeces, vomitus or other matter.


  • Animals must receive a balanced and complete diet which allows them to maintain health and growth. Food must be palatable and in a form appropriate to the species, age and condition of the animal.

  • Food supplies must be kept clean and palatable and stored to prevent deterioration or contamination.

  • Spoiled or stale food must be removed and disposed of promptly.

  • Puppies under four months of age must be offered a sufficient quantity of a balanced and complete diet at least twice daily, unless receiving adequate maternal nutrition.

  • Dogs over four months of age must be provided with food at least once daily. The diet of debilitated animals must be at the direction of a veterinarian or a person of acknowledged experience in their care.


  • Adequate cool, clean drinking water must be available in sufficient quantity and for sufficient time to meet the animal’s physiological needs (including bathing for some species such as amphibians).


Cleanliness and Hygiene


  • All facilities must be cleaned and maintained to a level that ensures the health and welfare of the species being kept, especially areas where new animals are to be introduced or an animal is about to give birth.

  • The surrounds of all enclosures in shops must be regularly cleaned to minimise dirt, animal litter and faeces.

  • Litter must be replaced and bedding, containers and other furniture must be clean when animals are introduced to a vacant enclosure.

  • If an animal is known or suspected to be suffering a disease or infection which is likely to harm other animals, its housing, including bedding and exercise yards must be discarded and replaced; or disinfected and decontaminated with an appropriate product before another animal is introduced

  • Bedding and environmental enrichment items must be cleaned, changed or discarded if soiled with faeces or other organic matter.

  • Preparation and storage areas, containers, utensils and other equipment used in the preparation and provision of food must be maintained in a hygienic state.

  • Collection drains in shops and large facilities must be cleaned daily.


  • Occupied kennels must be cleaned at least once daily. This includes the removal of waste food, soiled bedding etc. and, in the case of kennels, hosed or treated in some other manner to remove urine and faeces.

  • Dog exercise areas must be maintained in a clean and healthy state and cleaned before new animals are introduced to the area.

Dead animals

  • Animals that die must be removed from the sight and vicinity of other animals as soon as they are observed.

  • Dead animals must be disposed of as soon as possible unless a necropsy is required, in which case the body must be stored in a hygienic manner (e.g. bagged and chilled).

Waste management

  • Animal waste and food scraps must be removed on a regular basis and before such time as it could cause discomfort to the animal or pose a health risk to animals or people.

  • Equipment must be provided to ensure the sanitary disposal of animal wastes, food scraps and similar materials.

  • Organic waste products such as dead animals, faeces, soiled bedding and food wastes must be handled and stored in accordance with the requirements of the relevant authority.

  • Waste disposal must be in accordance with the requirements of the local government authority, the relevant government department or other authorities.

Vermin and parasite control

  • Vermin infestation, in particular wild rodents, flies and ants must be minimised.

  • The owner of a shop or large facility must have a documented program in place to control insects (e.g. flies and ants), external parasites (e.g. fleas, lice, ticks) and vertebrate pests (e.g. rats or mice) within the facility. The documented program must be kept at the facility and all assistants must be able to produce or access it and be familiar with its content.

  • The owner of a small facility, other than a shop, must have a program in place to control insects, external parasites (e.g. fleas, lice, ticks) and vertebrate pests (e.g. rats or mice) within the facility. This may or may not be documented.

Hand sanitisers

  • Hand sanitisers or washing facilities must be available for use by the owner, assistants and the public before and after handling animals.


Animal Health

Health Checks


  • The owner is responsible for supervising the inspection of animals in accordance with these standards.

  • The owner must be familiar with the signs of those diseases that are common in the species of animal held.

  • All animals must be inspected at least once daily to monitor their health and well-being. The person who is inspecting must check for abnormal:

  1. eating and drinking (in the case of neonatal mammals not drinking milk)

  2. defecating and urinating

  3. behaviour and movement

  4. coat;

  5. and whether the animal is showing any signs of pain, injury, illness, distress or change in body condition.

  • An assistant must either report any change in health status promptly to the owner or take appropriate action themselves. The owner must take appropriate action to address any reported changes in health status.

  • In shops and large facilities all animals must be inspected at frequent intervals, at least at opening and closing times, and appropriate action taken to prevent or mitigate any harm.

  • Adult dogs in public facilities must be inspected at least once daily on non-trading days.

  • Puppies in public facilities must be inspected at least twice daily on non-trading days.

  • Dogs in public facilities must not be left unattended for more than sixteen hours.

  • Large facilities other than shops must have a documented Animal Health Management Plan and issues recorded in each dog’s individual animal health records.


Medical Care


  • The owner must identify a veterinarian who is able to attend to their animals and/or advise on disease prevention measures.

  • The contact details for the veterinarian must be known or be available to assistants.

  • Prompt veterinary or other appropriate treatment must be provided for an animal which is injured or suspected to be diseased to protect the health of the individual and prevent the spread of disease.

  • Internal and external parasites including fleas, lice, ticks and gastrointestinal worms must be controlled through routine and preventative treatment as appropriate to the species. (This does not include heartworm treatment for dogs.)

  • Assistants who are responsible for the administration of veterinary treatments or routine husbandry procedures must be instructed in the required treatment regimes.

  • A person must not debark a dog unless the person is a veterinarian and the procedure is undertaken as a last resort and the only alternative is euthanasia.

  • A person must not crop the ears of an animal nor dock its tail; unless the person is a veterinarian and the procedure is undertaken for medical reasons.

Diseased, deformed or injured animals

  • Appropriate treatment must be provided for diseased, deformed or injured animals.

  • An animal suspected to have a contagious disease (and those in the same enclosure) must be strictly isolated (individually or as a group).




Requirement for euthanasia

  • If euthanasia is recommended by a veterinarian the animal must be euthanized, unless there is a viable alternative that is in the interests of the animal and the community. This includes animals with behavioural abnormalities (e.g. excessive aggression), a disease, genetic abnormality, injury or deformity.

Method of euthanasia

  • A person who euthanizes an animal must have the knowledge, skills and experience to undertake the procedure humanely.

  • Euthanasia must not be conducted in the presence or sight of any other animals.

  • If the owner or an assistant euthanizes an animal, it must be done in a manner which causes death or unconsciousness as rapidly as possible. The person euthanizing the animal must ensure that it does not recover consciousness before it dies and must confirm that it is dead. Drowning is not an acceptable method of euthanasia.


Transfer of Ownership


Age at transfer of ownership

  • Unweaned animals must not be accepted by facilities unless the facility has adequate resources and expertise for their artificial feeding and care or euthanasia.

  • All animals must be fully able to feed independently (i.e. without a parent) when their ownership is transferred to a client.

  • Prior to the transfer of ownership to a client puppies must be fully weaned and have been on an established diet for at least a week.

  • Owners operating from shops and temporary public venues must not transfer the ownership of puppies unless they are at least seven weeks old.

Parasite treatments

  • Animals must be treated for internal and external parasites as appropriate to their species (other than heartworm in dogs) prior to transfer of ownership to safeguard the health of the animals and of people who might handle them.

  • Disclosure of characteristics

  • The ownership of an animal known or suspected of:

  1. being ill, injured or diseased (including congenital diseases)

  2. being aggressive or venomous

  3. being pregnant

  4. being poorly socialised

  5. being deformed (if the long term prognosis is poor)

  6. having known characteristics such as biting, aggression, digging, chewing or being destructive;

  • can only be transferred if, prior to transfer, there is full verbal and written disclosure of:

  1. the nature of the condition

  2. the appropriate management of the condition, including treatment options

  3. any likely change in longevity of the animal

  4. a realistic estimate of the cost of managing the condition

  5. the likely impact on the client and/or their property.

  • The ownership of a species that requires specialist feeding techniques can only be transferred if, prior to transfer, there is full verbal and written disclosure of feeding instructions.

  • The characteristics of an animal must not be misrepresented and any pertinent information must not be withheld. Information is to be provided to clients

  • At the time of, or prior to, the transfer of ownership the client must be offered information at no charge regarding the care of animals purchased and must be permitted to ask reasonable questions of the seller and receive accurate responses.

    The information offered must include:

  1. parasite and disease detection, prevention and treatment

  2. the responsibilities inherent in companion animal ownership

  3. the general care, housing and management of the animal

  4. the appropriate diet for the animal (or a diet sheet)

  5. the legal requirements of keeping the species, including permits; and in reference to the particular animal being purchased:

  6. any particular species and breed requirements or characteristics, which may impact on its welfare and suitability in the intended home

  7. any individual requirements or characteristics such as the reason that a previous owner is trading or has surrendered the animal.

Prescribed breeds of dog

  • The ownership of a dog of a prescribed breed must not be transferred.

Information required by the Dog and Cat Management Act 19953

  • At the time of, or prior to, the transfer of ownership of a dog, clients must be provided with information required by Section 71 of the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995.

  • Any advertisement for the sale of a dog or cat must provide the information required by Section 71 of the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995.


Trading at Temporary Public Venues

General Requirements


  • If the weather is inclement to the extent that the comfort and welfare of the animal at an outdoor venue cannot be safeguarded, the animal must not be presented for sale.

  • In warm weather animals must be provided with shade and cool water.

  • During inclement weather, reasonable steps must be taken to provide animals with protection from the elements to ensure the animal’s health, safety and welfare taking into consideration the species, breed and age of the animal.

  • Any animal that shows signs of distress due to weather or any other condition must be removed from sale and provided with appropriate conditions or treatment to aid recovery.

  • Animals must not be confined for the purpose of sale at a temporary public venue for more than fifteen hours in any twenty-four-hour period.


Breeding of Dogs, Care of Dams and Rearing of Young

General Requirements


Suitability for breeding

  • The owner must not permit a bitch to have more than five litters over her lifetime unless a veterinarian has certified in writing that she is fit to do so.

  • Dogs known or suspected to be suffering from a significant infectious disease must not be used for breeding or be accepted for breeding under lease unless under written approval from a veterinarian.

  • If the owner knows, or reasonably ought to know, that a particular mating has a high probability of resulting in a serious hereditary defect (e.g. mating two dogs with severe hip dysplasia or clinical progressive retinal atrophy), which is likely to compromise the health or welfare of offspring, the owner must not allow that mating to occur unless the mating is approved by an animal ethics committee established in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act 1985.

  • Dogs that are excessively nervous, aggressive or are otherwise of poor temperament must not be bred.

  • A person must not breed a dog of a prescribed breed.


  • Dogs must be physically and mentally fit, healthy and free of disease at the time of mating.

  • During mating, breeding pairs must be isolated from other animals, and monitored by the owner or a competent assistant (with the exception of guardian dogs).

Pregnant dams

  • Dams which are in the latter stages of pregnancy or lactating must be provided with additional food and water at frequent intervals.
  • Obviously pregnant or lactating bitches must not be offered for sale from a shop or temporary public venue.

Birthing dams

  • If there is evidence that birthing has commenced (e.g. straining or contracting) and there is no progress within two hours, appropriate remedial action must be taken including close monitoring and seeking advice from a veterinarian or an experienced breeder.

  • During birthing, dams must be isolated from other animals (with the exception of guardian dogs) and monitored by the owner or a competent assistant on a regular basis to ensure that the birth proceeds in a normal manner.

  • Birthing bitches, with the exception of guardian dogs, must be provided with a suitable whelping box lined with clean bedding, which is changed or replaced if soiled. This does not apply to bitches that refuse to accept a whelping box or that will not tolerate or not use bedding or they place their offspring at risk through interference with bedding.

  • A guardian dog that is due to give birth must be provided with a shelter which provides protection from other dogs, predators, wind, rain and extremes of temperatures.

Lactating dams

  • Lactating dams must be housed in such a manner that they are able to move around and escape their young or be separated from their litter for short periods on a regular basis.

Rearing puppies

  • Puppies must not be permanently separated from their litter or their lactating dam until they are weaned, unless it is in the best interests of the puppy, or their dam.

  • Puppies must be monitored when first offered solid food to ensure that the food is acceptable and palatable.

  • Puppies must be observed to ensure they achieve a steady weight gain every week.

  • Puppies must be appropriately socialised according to their intended lifestyle (for example, a dog intended to be a guardian is not socialised in the same manner as one which is intended to be a house dog).



Seller Responsibilities



  • All animals must be placed in a container or suitably restrained to ensure their security, protection and welfare when handed or consigned to the client.

  • Containers must be suitable and protect the animal from serious injury, other animals, extreme temperature and excessive stress.

  • Containers must provide adequate ventilation and protection from rain, wind, direct sunlight and other adverse weather conditions.

  • Containers must be sufficiently strong to withstand stacking and general handling and constructed to exclude most light, whilst not prejudicing adequate ventilation.

  • If the animal is being transported to the client by a third party (e.g. an airline or road transport) the container must be clearly labelled “(Number of – e.g. 5) LIVE (species – e.g. DOG) INSIDE” and include the name and phone number of the seller and client. If the animal is venomous or dangerous this must also be stated on the label.

Food and water

  • Food must be provided for animals undertaking an extended journey. In general, including loading, unloading and waiting time, an extended journey is one which exceeds 12 hours, however the requirements of the individual being transported and the journey undertaken must be the primary guide to food provision.

  • Water must be provided according to the requirements of the species and individual. In some cases, it is necessary to provide water even for relatively short journeys.

Fitness to travel

  • Prior to transport, all animals must be assessed by the seller to confirm that they are fit for the intended journey.

Communication with the client

  • All reasonable steps must be taken to ensure that the client is aware of the estimated time and location of the animal’s arrival.


Transfer of responsibilities during consignment


  • The seller is responsible for the animal until it is in the custody of the person transporting it.

  • The person transporting the animal then accepts responsibility for its care until it is in the custody of the client, at which time the animal becomes the responsibility of the client.


Transporter responsibilities


  • The person transporting the animal must ensure that, if the vehicle is especially designed or predominantly used for transporting animals it:

  1. protects them from injury through being free from protrusions or sharp edges in the carrying area

  2. provides easy and safe access for handlers

  3. protects against unauthorised release or escape

  4. is easy to clean and decontaminate

  5. is fitted with an operational air conditioning system or provides adequate ventilation to the section of the vehicle where the animals are held to protect against extremes of temperature, even when stationary.

  • The person transporting the animal must provide a safe means of transport with adequate restraint that will not endanger the animal.

  • All animals must be transported in a manner appropriate for their species, size and age. Incompatible animals must be physically separated during transport to prevent injury, harm or distress.

  • Animals must not be transported in the boot of a sedan vehicle or in the rear of a utility under a tonneau cover (soft or hard).

  • Dogs transported on the back of a truck or utility must be tethered or caged. This does not apply to working livestock dogs whilst working.

  • Vehicles must have adequate ventilation and shade, sufficient to maintain good health and to avoid distress.

  • All vehicles used predominantly for the purpose of transporting animals must be thoroughly cleaned and decontaminated after use to minimise the possibility of transmission of infectious diseases between consignments of animals. This does not apply to a vehicle used to transport a dog that is being used in the droving or tending of livestock or is going to, or returning from, a place where it will be, or has been, so used.

  • The minimum exercise requirements of these standards apply to all transported dogs. Thus dogs must be afforded the opportunity to exercise for at least thirty minutes if they are confined for a period of twenty-four hours.


From 1st July 2018



  • The owner of a dog must ensure that the dog is microchipped

  • A person must not sell a dog unless the dog has been microchipped


  • The owner of a dog must ensure that the dog is desexed by the age of 6 months (for dogs born after 1st July 2018)

    This does not apply in relation to:

    • (a) working dogs,

      (b) an animal welfare organisation,

      (c) a person registered as a breeder with the DCMB,

      (d) a person who is a member of an exempted body (Incl. Dogs SA / ANKC)

      (e) a dog that is not usually kept within the State

      (f) a dog who has written exemption for a stated period of time by a veterinarian for health reasons

Trade/Selling dogs:

  • A person must not sell a dog that he or she has bred unless:

  1. (a) he or she is registered as a breeder with the DCMB; or

  2.  (b) he or she is registered (however described) as a breeder with an approved representative body (incl. Dogs SA / ANKC members); or

  3. (c) he or she is registered as a breeder under a law of another jurisdiction dealing with the breeding of dogs.

  • A person who sells a dog must give to the new owner a written notice setting out the information required by the regulations relating to:

  1. the identity of the seller of the dog; and
  2. the identity of the breeder or breeders of the dog; and
  3. vaccinations and other treatments given to the dog; and
  4. the dog's microchip; and
  5. any other information in respect of a sale of the relevant kind.

Advertising Dogs for Trade/Sale:

  • A person who publishes an advertisement in relation to the sale of a dog must ensure that the advertisement contains the information required by the regulations relating to:

  1. the identity of the seller of the dog; and
  2. the identity of the breeder or breeders of the dog; and
  3. vaccinations and other treatments given to the dog; and
  4. the dog's microchip; and
  5. any other information in respect of an advertisement of the relevant kind.


Source: DCMB, South Australian Standards and Guidelines for Breeding and Trading Companion Animals, http://tellus.sa.gov.au/index.php/591227/lang-en