The state government is making sure that lost pets get home faster and safer with the Pets Amendment (Reunification of Pets and Other Matters) Act 2021 passed by Parliament on Thursday 24 February.
The law will allow Victorians to take a lost dog or cat to a participating veterinary clinic or registered animal shelter such as the Lost Dogs’ Home in Cranbourne, to be reunited with its owner, rather than relying solely on advice .
Prior to this, lost cats and dogs had to be handed over to an authorized agent in the council area where the animal is, or to a small number of vets and shelters who have an agreement under the Welfare Act 1994. pets.
Agriculture Minister Mary-Anne Thomas said everyone will benefit from the amendment.
“Pets are an important part of any family, and these reforms will make it easier and faster to reunite lost pets with their owners, improving welfare outcomes for everyone.”
“This new legislation builds on our commitment to improving animal welfare and highlights other work we are doing to ensure animal husbandry practices across the state remain robust, humane and safe.”
As well as the robust vetting process to ensure pets are returned to the correct owner, the legislation also keeps animal health and safety at the forefront, reinforcing the government’s historic puppy farm legislative reforms with better regulations and more efficient services.
As part of the amendments:
• Anyone found guilty of certain offenses under the Domestic Animals Act 1994 will now be banned from working for all Victoria stockbreeders
• Victoria’s Chief Veterinarian will be able to make recommendations on the approval or renewal of commercial dog breeders, ensuring that animal care and management standards are appropriate to the requirements of the facility and of the breed
• Micro-farmers will undergo more assessments and will be required to report any previous convictions related to animal welfare.
• All source number applicants will be required to provide their address and contact information to improve compliance and prevent fraudulent practices
• Regulatory partners including Councils of Victoria and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) Victoria will have increased powers to enable faster and more efficient animal management and welfare services .
These reforms are significant as Victoria has high rates of pet ownership, with an average of 665,000 dogs and 215,000 cats registered with councils each year.
The changes will come into effect on October 1, 2022.
For more information visit agriculture.vic.gov.au/pets.